Pendragon - Love Over Fear

Pendragon Love Over Fear
Love Over Fear
Toff Records
In 2018 Pendragon had their 40th year anniversary. Yeah, I know that the number 40 might seem too big but this band has been around since 1978 and has been true to their prog rock values all these years. Then again it’s been almost 6 years since their last studio album “Men Who Climb Mountains”, so the prog fans might have been wondering what’s been going on. Sometimes it is better to speak when you actually have something good to say and Pendragon have done so with their new work “Love Over Fear”. I cannot tell how much Cornwall and the sea surroundings have influenced Nick Barret, but he seems to be quite influenced by his new place and the sea in general here.
They say never judge a book by its cover, but the specific cover artwork makes you wanna listen to the album without further ado. “Love Over Fear” musically blends all the eras of the band in a very fascinating way. 70s prog rock meets neo-prog while the atmospheric and somewhat melancholic soundscapes are everywhere, along with the apt symphonic passages and a few folk and prog pop touches. The sound is full, crystal clear and cohesive on the whole.
This is the first album with drummer Jan-Vincent Velazco, although he has been with the band for about 6 years now. Clive Nolan (Arena) plays a major role with his distinctive keys and bass player Peter Gee is offering that something extra that every (prog) rock band needs. Other participants are Zoe Devenish on backing vocals and violin on “Truth and Lies” and “Soul and the Sea”, and Julian Baker on saxophone on “Whirlwind”. All the credits go to the mastermind behind this album the unique Nick Barrett, who hasn’t only written some of the greatest prog rock anthems of his career, but also because of delivering amazing performances both on vocals and on the lead guitars. His solos are warm and stimulating and will remind you of the great Dave Gilmour (Pink Floyd). This is one of those albums that you’re looking forward to listening to the guitar leads so as to feel the song entirely!
I can’t say for sure if “Love Over Fear” is Pendragon’s best release so far… I guess only time will say that. Then again I can easily say that “Love Over Fear” is one of the best prog rock albums of 2020! I kinda think that it will be branded as the “best prog rock album” of 2020 eventually, but there’s lots of time until then. Give this album a few spins, cuz it takes time so as to dive into its atmospheric soundscapes and experience it to the fullest… (but) you will be rewarded finally. “Love Over Fear” as the title declares will make you realize that when there’s true love no fear can break you – never!