After an absence of many years without the release of new material, the Scottish band Comedy Of Errors made a great come-back in the progressive rock scene with Disobey (2011, see review). Now, two years later its successor called Fanfare & Fantasy can already be welcomed. For me reviewing this new record is rather simple, because it continues where their former album ended. This means that the excellent neo-progressive rock of Disobey can also be found on Fanfare & Fantasy.
Am I complaining? No, certainly not since neo-prog is after all my favourite musical style. People who enjoy the music recorded by the early line-up of Marillion, Landmarq, Arena , Pallas, IQ, Pendragon, Credo and Galahad will also enjoy the nine compositions on this album. They'll have a good time listening to the fabulous voice of Joe Cairney, who really stands out on the entire album. It's a great joy to listen to the bombastic keyboard parts of Jim Johnston as well. Listen for instance to the intro of Time's Motet And Galliard or to his awesome solos throughout the album. Enjoy the fine rhythmic drum parts of Bruce Levick and the excellent tuneful guitar solos by Mark Spalding, as you can hear on pieces like The Cause and The Answer. He also excellently plays the bass guitar. I may not forget John Fitzgerald who provided some fine backing vocals.
Apart from the many strong neo-progressive rock parts on Fanfare & Fantasy, you'll also find some elements from Scottish traditional folk music. Listen for example to tracks like Merry Dance and The Cause and you'll get my drift. People who already possess Disobey may buy Fanfare & Fantasy blindly and without hesitation. The album doesn't contain any weak tracks or even weak parts. Therefore it's highly recommended to all fans of neo-progressive rock. If I mentioned your favourite band in this review, this album should belong in your CD collection!
****+ Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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