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***** Tony Garone -- The Epic of Gilgamesh

The word "epic" is much overused in the genre of prog. (and I'm a big abuser of it as well) and probably only applies to a fraction of the tunes that it's used to describe. I would define this album as an epic in the classic sense of the word -- it's a concept album that is based on tales of the Babylonian King Gilgamesh. The original story is followed fairly well and while I wouldn't recommend it as the "end all be all" of recounting, it does give you an idea of what the tale is about. Musically, this is a diverse collection of sounds that I would generally categorize as Progressive Folk, with significant World Music influences. It is particularly effective in setting a calm and serene mood for parts of the story that are applicable, and turning things up a bit in other places, although it never gets too heavy. The players utilize a wide variety of ethnic instruments which also help establish the sound within the tale. Garone's vocals are outstanding and recall some of the finer moments of Greg Lake, and although Garone handles a fair amount of the instruments throughout, he's clearly talented enough to pull it off -- nothing sounds sub-par. Best tracks include "We Are All One," "Inanna / Ishtar" and "The Bull of Heaven" (fantastic guitar on that one,) although it's all very good music, firmly rooted in a Middle Eastern influence. This is a fantastic find that does deserve a wide audience, particularly those in the World Music or Progressive Folk crowd.

Reviews by A. D. Jensen
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