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Night Castle (Amazon Exclusive Version)
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But the thing about Night Castle that makes a purchase worth it is the lyrics. TSO lyrics have only gotten better. My favorite song from their first album, Old City Bar, was the beginning of showing TSO's true colors. They aren't just about rocking out with electric guitars playing famous classical pieces....rather they take their time creating lyrics that mean so much more. "There was a life" may be my new favorite TSO piece over "What is Eternal" from the Beethoven CD. Not only do the lyrics have so much meaning but there seems to be a lot of effort in each song. Most songs are about 5 minutes long with some shorter and the longest at around 10. The sheer size of quantity AND quality show how much work has been put into this album.
1. Seems overdone and over edited in some places
2. We have been waiting 5 years! So it may be too hyped
1. Price is great for this double album
2. It seems there has been more effort put into this album than any other
3. A great mix of classic TSO album and their heart and soul lyrics that drive the album home
4. This album is a great for the entire album no matter what age you are.
Overall - I would say this would be a great addition to any TSO fans library. There are plenty of songs for non TSO listeners to be weened into being a fan with, especially if they aren't a fan of Christmas music.
This is a great CD. I highly recommend it!
It's been nearly 10 years since TSO's last non-Christmas effort, Beethoven's Last Night. While completely bombastic, over the top, and bordering on ridiculous, it was a great and very original take on a story involving a key figure in musical history. The arrangments (vocal and instrumental) were solid as was the majority of the song witing and the performances.
I love TSO. Must make that clear, I directed live performances of two of their albums (Xmas Eve & Beethoven's Last Night) when I was in college and have studied them and their music in depth for over a decade. They have always had an unparalleled ability to instill beauty, magic, and tenderness in their music and truly captivate their audiences.
Now in 2009, we have Night-Castle. A double disc, 28-song epic. The question is however, does it truly reflect 5 years of work and the need for the constant delays.
The instrumentals, as TSO is famous for, are certainly the perk of the album. Leading numbers being Midnight & Madness, The Lion's Roar, Tracers, and Flight of Cassandra (possibly one of their most versatile and best) and Nutrocker.
My heart jumped when I saw the title "The Mountain" as I thought, my god, maybe finally a metal-version of Night on Bald Mountain. No luck, unortunately it was merely an underperformed, uninspired, rehashing of Savatage's cover of "Hall of the Mountain King"
The treatment of Verdi's "Requiem" re-titled "Night Enchanted" is solid and has a truly kicking opening but at about a minute in, gives way to completely over produced vocals (female mainly) and is a bit repetitive and over-produced. The lowest point of the instrumentals is possibly the shameless borrowing of Savatage's "Mozart & Madness".Read more ›
It's not quite the same.
Let me start by saying the instrumental tracks are fantastic. Adrenaline pumping, dynamic, and creative. I could listen to some of these tracks over and over again. "Mozart's Memories" and "Nutrocker" are some of the best neo-classical renditions out there. The instrumentation is impressive as well.
Unfortunately, the vocal tracks take away from everything that makes the album great. Stale lyrics and subpar singing plague about 3/4 of the set list. One of the biggest problems is that the singing is simply overdone -- almost like the vocalists are "trying too hard," so to speak. After awhile, the vocal tracks all start to sound the same.
The album itself doesn't have much of a "flow" to it. TSO could've stacked the songs better instead of having one heavy song followed by three soft ones. It causes some sections of the album to move rather slow.
Longtime TSO fans, I would've been disappointed if I waited nearly five years for this album. But regardless of its shortcoming, "Night Castle" earns a 3/5 overall. It's worth $10 for the instrumental tracks alone but don't expect much otherwise.
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