A wave of deja vu came rushing over me as I prepared to write this review for “Out Of Order Comes Chaos” and wasn't quite sure what to make of it.
Then it came to me like a blast of hot sauce on a chicken wing - Oh yea … I originally reviewed a DVD of this live Pendragon concert for Prognaut on November 22, 2012. And now here it is April of 2013 and I have the double-CD audio collection in my hand. It's usually the other way around.
But all is well because I have a more rigid criterion for reviewing a concert DVD since it is a visual medium and requires sitting in front of a TV screen for 2 hours, whereas a live CD can be popped into any device in my home, office, or car and enjoyed for the music alone. Which means this double-album will get considerable playing time now that I have the CD to enjoy.
"Out Of Chaos Comes Order" is the product of a long-standing relationship between Pendragon and the Polish prog community who have shown the band great support throughout their career. So once again they choose Wyspianski Theater in Katowice Poland to film and record their concert to an enthusiastic sold-out crowd. Besides “Out Of Order Comes Chaos”, at least three other Pendragon concert DVDs that I know of were filmed in Poland, “Live … At Last And More” (2002), “Concerto Maximo” (2009), and “And Now Everybody To The Stage” (2006).
Nick Barrett and company have been performing their melodic brand of progressive rock since 1978, originally under the name Zeus Pendragon, which was thankfully shortened to Pendragon by the time they produced the EP “Fly High Fall Far”. That impressive EP was my first encounter with the band – and would not be my last. I followed their career religiously up until the 2001 release “Not Of This World”, then inexplicably missed the next three albums “Believe” (2005), “Pure” (2008) and “Passion” (2011). And its apparent that I missed out on some exceptional material during the band's growth as they adopted a darker and harder edged approach. There is an ominous shadow permeating those tracks I'm unfamiliar with which requires further exploration on my part. I need to catch up and purchase the three missing albums from my collection.
The only difference I can see between the concert DVD and the CD is the omission of two tracks, possibly for time constraint. Missing from the CD are the tracks “Freakshow” and “Nostradamus”.
The 14 tunes on the double-CD collection represents just a sampling of the brilliant music produced by Pendragon these past 30 years; featuring tracks from their 2011 album “Passion” (“Passion”, “Empathy”, “Feeding Frenzy” and “The Green And Pleasant Land”), the 2008 album “Pure” (“Comatose” and “Indigo”), the 2001 album “Not Of The World” (“If I Were The Wind” and “Not Of This World”), the 1996 album “The Masquerade Overture” (“Paintbox”), the 1993 album “Window Of Life” (“Ghosts” and “Last Man On Earth”), and the 1991 album “The World” (Back In The Spotlight”, “Prayer” and “Shane”).
The current line-up for Pendragon consists of Nick Barrett (guitars and lead vocals), Peter Gee (guitar, bass, bass pedals, keyboards, backing vocals), Clive Nolan (keyboards, backing vocals), and Scott Higham (drums, backing vocals). For a band that has been around for nearly 30 years their line-up has been pretty consistent. Nick Barrett and Peter Gee have been together since “The Jewel”, Clive Nolan and Fudge Smith joined for the next album “Kowtow” and that line-up remained unchanged for the next six studio albums, then Scott Higham came on board for the recording of “Pure” and “Passion”.
For the uninitiated Pendragon are alumni of the British school of neo/prog revivalist who came on the scene at the tail end of the 70s' and early 80s' to rejuvenate the progressive rock scene, which includes bands like Marillion, IQ, Pallas, Twelfth Night, Abel Ganz, Solstice, Galahad, Arena, Shadowland, Jadis, Cyan, Red Jasper and Citizen Cain – so if any of these group get your heart pumping then you'll find Pendragon to your liking.
Since the same applies I'll repeat my closing comments on the CD just as I did the concert DVD:
I highly recommend "Out Of Order Comes Chaos" not only to fans of Pendragon but to neo-prog aficionados in general. These guys are among the best in the genre, and have been doing it for nearly 30 years. They have remained relevant by evolving and incorporating new ideas, yet staying true to their original progressive rock roots. If you've never heard them before this will be a treat - and for those among us who have been livelong fans … make room in your music collection for another jewel.
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on April 19th, 2013