Alan Draper - Ascension Day

Tuesday 1st February 2000
Alan Draper - Ascension Day

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

The only word worthy of describing this album is "EPIC"! Fans of 70s prog rock will find plenty to gel stuck into because Alan's music is more like aural painting, creating concepts and pictures to be savoured, explored, appreciated and admired. Drawing from some previously released material and some newer compositions; 'Ascension Day' is a bold recording mixing together plenty of musical influences from classical, folk and progressive music. A lot of the album is even influenced by the characters and narrative of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and was recorded to accompany a stage production of the Tales! Not standard fare for Christian music and how refreshing that is! Not entirely instrumental, though it has to be said the main thrust of these record­ings is instrumental, there are certain pieces that are simply imposing. One of these is the triumphant conclusion to the album, "Pilgrim's Way", which is clas­sical in style but then gives way to a wonderful passage where the musical theme of "He Who Would Valiant Be" bursts through the speakers. I am left wondering what Alan Draper would achieve with a large budget and a well-rehearsed orchestra! For now, he has demonstrated he is capable of making moving, intricate, creative and powerful music. There are occasional lapses, the vocal "Earth Magic" is one such moment which sounds as though it was recorded for an early 70s West End hippie stage show. That reservation apart, if your tastes are for 70s style progressive music, grab hold of this.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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