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Showing 1-10 of 449 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 524 reviews
on November 25, 2009
I purchased "Night Castle" after attending TSO's 2009 Winter Concert in Manchester, NH. The entire second half of the show was mostly songs off Night Castle -- songs I ended up falling in love with. Wanting more, I decided to purchase the CD immediately to try and recreate my concert experience.

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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on August 19, 2013
Anything done by this group is nothing short of perfection. Music, words fail to express. Vocals, the same thing. They have to have the finest musicians and vocalists in the world. As a matter of fact, they do. There is none to compare to TSO. They are in their own catagory. Now, for the downside..............They will blow you away. But, if you are fortunate enough to see them in concert, then it's almost impossible to listen to the CD's for awhile, because it falls short of what you saw. Now, know this, they only do Christmas music. My favorite Christmas song is Oh Holy Night. I am a devout Christian and had anybody ever told me my favorite version would be on electric guitars, I would have been offended and think them crazy. But, it's true!! And it's done with such reverence, as is every song they do. I have seen Springsteen, Santana, Bob Seger, Jackson Browne, REO Speedwagon, ELO, Dallas symphony and the Moody Blues 13 times, (to name a few) but nothing can prepare you for TSO. Excuse me, but that's what their fans call them, short for Trans-Siberian Orchestra. No one, I mean no one has ever seen TSO in concert one time! Once you see them, it becomes your new automatic Christmas tradition. Christmas will never be the same again. My biggest complaint is that they only did one DVD in 1999, but I told Al, lead guitar, it should be a law that they should have to do one every year! If you ever get the chance to see them, do not pass it up. I saw them in Dallas, twice, Grand Prairie, and Shreveport, LA. (twice) and own every CD, DVD, T-shirts, tree ornamants, books, caps, et all.
5 stars are not enough!
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VINE VOICEon November 8, 2009
Well, I have heard this was a rerun...by TSO.

Hardly!!!

Owning 4 of their albums, having gone to their concert 4 times....I'm happy to say, this is no rerun, but original songs, done in the flavor that has made them famous. There is some songs that are reminiscent of Beethoven's last night, but no repeats from that album. Also there are some songs from their concerts that have not previously made it to their albums. A few, I was really hoping to get.

TSO is either powerful, boisterous and fun or poignant and thought provoking, but never disappointing.

Rock On TSO!

If you are interesting in my opinion by song:
01 - Night Enchanted: an exuberant beginning in the theatrical form, we all associate with TSO. A changing tempo and several transitions that make it unique.
02 - Childhood Dreams: Wonderful melody and crooning voice rock you in this pleasant powerful song.
03 - Sparks: A true TSO song with a boisterous and powerful voice belting out the song. You feel like raising your fist and smiling at the key points in the song.
04 - The Mountain: Growling, drum beat beginning to a frenetic mad pace. A free for all guitar and drum fest.
05 - Night Castle: A throbbing refrain, with a pleading deep male voice seeking escape. A true TSO gem in its theatrics and depth.
06 - The Safest Way Into Tomorrow: A bold a powerful melody with a strong male lead. Great song and one of my personal favorites.
07 - Mozart And Memories: Sneaky quiet start with a jolt of powerful guitar lead-ins with a meld of rock and classical sounds.
08 - Another Way You Can Die: A bit different than, I know TSO for, it reminds me a bit of Aerosmith's "Walk this way" at the start. Once again the strong male voice dominates as well as the strong guitar sound.
09 - Toccata - Carpimus Noctem: Quite a mix from the classical beginning to the rolling guitars and pounding drums ending with a helicopter.
10 - The Lion's Roar: A trumpet weaving you into a drumbeat of guitars, keyboard and more guitars.
11 - Dreams We Conceive: A striking ballad with a pleading voice and guitars following along.
12 - Mother And Son: An Asian conversation (I think) is this whole song along with street sounds. no idea what is being said. "Yeah man, gonna hit road..."sounds like what is said in English.
13 - There Was A Life: A pensive plaintive beginning reminiscent of Beethoven's last night. A ballad of questions. Another powerful great song. Another favorite.
14 - Moonlight And Madness: A crazed piano start with guitars following, reminiscent of some classical favorites. A duet of guitar and piano....I have heard a similar tune during their concerts.
15 - Time Floats On: Another ballad, less plaintive and more pensive.
16 - Epiphany: A helicopter at the start of this. Throbbing guitars and a wonderful melodic ballad and the type of meandering thoughts TSO is known for. From the fear of the night, to realizing childhood is long past. "Somewhere" is the refrain... This song goes into a melody familiar to all that loved the Lost Christmas Eve album. At the 5:45 minute mark, it has the same melody as the What Child is this does at the 2:45 minute mark. Different words, but similar sound. (On this night...). Earlier, I incorrected stated it was from the Beethoven's Last night album...Whoops.
17 - Bach Lullaby: A quiet little music box theme.
18 - Father, Son & Holy Ghost: A lilting melody with one of the accomplished TSO soproanos. Tentative and poignant, until it gets a bite and then it growls with the usual full octane sound.
19 - Remnants Of A Lullaby: Guitar strumming starts this light tune. You can hear the smile in the singer's voice. It is a nice very upbeat tune.
20 - The Safest Way Into Tomorrow [Reprise]: A quick reprise of the longer more involved version, heard earlier in this album.
21 - Embers: A light guitar strumming a quick tune. Reminds me a bit of Cat Steven's Peace Train.
22 - Child Of The Night: Orchestral sounds start this piece and the highest female voices possible singing in unison (ala Wizard of Oz). All innocence and sweetness.
23 - Believe: Love this guy's voice, a raspy edge as he pours out his heart and sings a ballad of listening and support. Love this song.
24 - Nutrocker: Definitely from the concert, kicky, flashy and full of life...Exuberant and fun. Even includes the Snoopy song. You can see they are enjoying passing the baton back and forth.
25 - Carmina Burana: The opera sopranos from the concert, I have been waiting to get this in an album....Finally. It's a family favorite. Picture multiple sopranos singing in unison and the music punctuated by light, very dark foreboding and wonderful.
26 - Tracers: Pounding drums and guitar, working to a crescendo...It is a conversation of music. This is the one they raise on the lifts with the flames to... You get the musical pause as they set up the lifts.
27 - The Flight of Cassandra (Amazon MP3 Exclusive): A guitar and piano piece rolling one into the other. You can almost see the stage antics that would accompany this.
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on December 8, 2014
hours’ worth of material. It is an ambitious project to be sure, and one that I predict would not sway fans or non-fans either way on their opinions of the band. Everything that people love or loathe about TSO can be found here. This is symphonic / progressive / broadway rock at its most bombastic. For fans of the band’s pre-TSO incarnation, Savatage, at least some of this will sound similar in style and substance. In fact this is probably the most Savatage like album TSO has done so far. Bottom line, if you have liked TSO’s other albums (or Savatage’s more rock opera ish releases); you will probably enjoy this one. If previous TSO efforts have turned you off, this one will probably not do anything to change that point of view.
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on October 12, 2015
You probably know these guys best for their mix of metal and Christmas songs but this album ain't about Santa Claus! Classical music meets modern rock and metal for a loud, potent combination. With songs like "Mozart and Memories" and "Tocatta-Carpimus Noctem" you get a healthy dose of both styles of music and this band is well known to be able to turn Beethoven into hard rock. Ever heard of the classical song "The Nutcracker"? Try setting that to metal and calling it "Nutrocker". 'Nuff said.
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on June 23, 2017
Found other recording from Trans- Siberian Orchestra more enjoyable.
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on November 10, 2009
Unlike a lot of other TSO fans, I actually didn't even know that this album was in development until about a year ago, so I may be immune to some of the effects that those who have been anticipating Night Castle since it was announced are experiencing. After such a long wait, it's pretty much impossible to not have unrealistically high expectations. Also, I knew it was not a Christmas album, so I also had no disappointments on that level either.

Personally, I think the album is very good. The musical style is overall very similar to TSOs past elements, though the album overall has a bit of a darker tone due to the subject matter, which I actually like. The song-writing is great and the best songs of Night Castle are strong enough to stand with the best songs off of any of their other albums. There are many standout tracks, including Night Enchanted, The Mountain, Night Castle, Mozart and Memories, Another Way You Can Die, The Lion's Roar, Moonlight and Madness, Child of the Night, and Tracers. For those who have heard the album, one thing will be clear: The majority of my favorite songs are instrumentals.

With that said, there is one criticism that I have seen over and over, and I can confirm that it's true: The album is over-produced. On far too many tracks--and as a whole--the guitars especially don't come blasting at you with the same sort of power that they do on other albums. If you listen to Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24 then you think to yourself, "Man, this guys are really rocking out!" That's not the case on Night Castle. Too often the guitars seem sort of impotent, to be honest. The album all over sounds too clean . . . too polished . . . too perfect.

But you have to take the good with the bad. Don't take my criticisms to mean that the album is not worth buying, because it is. I gave it 4 stars, after all. (Truthfully, I would probably give it 3 1/2 but since you can't do 1/2 star ratings, I rounded up since it's TSO.) Buy the album and enjoy it, and let's hope it doesn't take them another 5 years to release new material.
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on March 26, 2017
Best musical group ever! Perfect start to the holidays.
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on November 8, 2009
I'm a big fan of Trans-Siberian Orchestra and have all there recording. ( including Savatage ) However,after playing this copy of there new recording, I really have mixed views over it! I mean,I understood that the recording wasn't Christmas long before it was going to be released and I looked forward to it being released for quite sometime. ( they even said and performed some of it during there concerts -- yes,I have saw them LIVE,but that's another story for another time and another place )!!
Back to this recording:
I'm glad that I know what they sound like before I bought this recording and even though it's with all the folks that make up TSO, I'm glad to have this in my libary along with the others they have released. ( I mean it's been how long now since they put out a recording?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
Maybe they won't put off releasing another recording for so long and get back to sounding like the Trans-Siberin Orchestra they became know as!! ( wonders if they will ever make a DVD release just for the heck of it - but nothing is the same as going to one or two of there concerts and come out never being the same as you were going into the show!!
Thanks guys,I know it was work putting this together,but perhaps you overlooked just how you once sounded that made many people stop in awe and listen to your music you put out on a recording and in turn,put alittle pocket chance in your pockets too!!
Looking forward to hearing from you guys soon!!! :-)
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on April 13, 2016
SUPERB WERKS by TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA! The first five tracks needed a bit of me getting to really appreciate them but once I heard both CDs in their entirety, they grew on me. I'm getting another copy for a friend whose birthdays coming up.
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