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Consortium Project 1: Criminals & Kings | FESTIVALPHOTO

Consortium Project 1: Criminals & Kings



Lion Music/Warner

In the mid-nineties vocalist Ian Parry was looking to follow up the success of his solo album “Thru´ the Looking-Glass”. He wanted something ambitious, and it would take until 1999 before this album was finalized. The ELEGY touch surely helpend sales, as did probably the inclusion of world-renowned guitarist Patrick Rondat and ex VENGEANCE bassist Jan Bijlsma. Today it might be at least as helpful to have KAMELOT guitarist Thomas Youngblood and AYREON star ARJEN LUCASSEN as guest on one track, playing the bass. Other musicians in the first incarnation were; guitarist Stephan Lill (VANDENPLAS) and well-travelled drummer Dirk Bruinenberg. Apart from the eleven originals this re-mastered edition contains two bonus tracks.

The story of power hungry people´s quest for a new world order is eternal. It can always be applied to one situation or another. The original was recorded pretty much all over the world, and matsred by ex.VICTORY guitarist Tommy Newton. The sound has not deteriorated with Ian´s own remaster. The less exciting parts are the more hackneyed. A thunder opening of an instrumental always sounds ridiculous, as in the bluesy “The Entity”. Or in the oddly tame refrain of “Change Breeds Contempt”, or the un-engaging “Banquet of Thieves”. But when those little weaknesses are dealt with remains only above, or, in some cases, very above average. The title track with its mock-Hammond, the oddly paced riff of “Evilworld” or the feeling of an eighties movie score in “Chain of Fear” all contributes to putting a big smile on my face. The finest moment is, for a change, the acoustic version of “A Miracle Is All We Need” - a bonus track! Patrick really takes the opportunity to display his playing style, no wonder his own output is so convincing. What you get here is a lot of material that is still in the remaining melodic vein of the grunge infested 90´s. You get world class musicians accompanying an interesting and easily recognized voice. I wonder if the voice cracks a few times, but that is merely me being a bummer. The average song here is something to enjoy, the few less inspired tracks are easily hidden among the bulk of fine songs. You can do much worse in 2011 than buying this fine echo of the past.

Track List
House of Cards
Banquet for Thieves
Garden of Eden
The Entity (Instrumental)
Change Breeds Contempt
A Miracle Is All We Need
The Snake
Criminals & Kings
Chain of Fear
Pandora´s Box

Bonus Tracks
A Miracle Is All We Need (Acoustic Version Featuring Patrick Rondat)
Evilworld (Demo with Arjen Lucassen on Bass) artist

Skribent: Mikael Johansson
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