Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale

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Procol Harum in Concert with the Danish National Concert Orchestra and Choir

The CD recording, reviewed by Richard Solly


Quite simply this CD is amazing. It's the album you've been waiting for. Powerful, majestic, played straight but immensely enjoyable. Geoff, Mark, Matt and Josh lending disciplined colour to Gary Brooker's music. His singing here is absolutely stunning and delivered with great confidence.

After the cold, ponderous One More Time I was a bit concerned about this album but am pleased to report the powerful, dramatic sound almost blew my speakers apart. My only criticisms are the strings are a bit down in the mix at the beginning of Grand Hotel and at the end of A Whiter Shade of Pale. The piano solo gets a bit lost in Fires as well. Apart from that the performance is almost faultless.

Grand Hotel slips straight into a fantastic version of Something Magic, an extraordinarily harrowing song which is played to perfection here. Homburg, which follows, is brilliant, holding up so well after all these years. Very emotional.

Fires from the trilogy of two war songs is powerfully delivered before a hammering Nothing But The Truth. Interesting that tracks from the 'stripped down' Exotic Birds (Butterfly Boys was also played at this concert, but not on this CD) lend themselves so well to the big band feel.

I first heard Into the Flood when Procol played with an orchestra at the Barbican. The Latin Mass chanting lending straight down to hell. Magnificent.

The chanting continues for the breathtaking Salty Dog. What can I say? This song is like a tattoo (it's always there) and superbly played here.

Symphathy for the Hard of Hearing (Brooker's solo song from Lead Me To The Water) is a jolly ditty about the futility of war. You can almost smell the stench of death drowning in the swirling maelstrom of guts and gore. Like a lot of the Procol songs, though, there is just a glimmer of hope.

The encore is a brilliant Whiter Shade of Pale and a thundering Conquistador.

You are left exhausted with every sense, every emotion assaulted.

Mercifully we have time to breathe before the expanded DVD in May. Phew!

A fantastic CD.

Procol Harum's music continues to reach new heights.

Buy this today it's not bad really.

Thanks, Richard 'Wizard Man' Solly
 


Concert reviews from Richard Solly The Ledreborg CD

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