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(64:40, MaRaCash Records)
The Italian band COURT has been around in one form or another since 1990, but with a 10 year long period where little was accomplished due to line-up alterations and other challenges. They returned as recording artists in 2007, however, and in the summer of 2012 the Italian label MaRaCash Records released their fourth studio album "Twenty Flying Kings". Following a couple of somewhat underwhelming initial pieces, the arguable artistic high point of this production follows with the compositions Cries, Lovers and Dream Tale. Acoustic guitars and reeds are dominated affairs that come with associations to the time when minstrels traveled the land, damsels were in distress and the robbers were gallant and justified. Medieval inspired folk music with a few contemporary bells and whistles thrown in for good measure. The twenty plus minutes long epic Sumptuous Moment then twists its way into more of an early 70's heavy psychedelic landscape, while the somewhat briefer concluding epic Alviss' Revenge has a stronger foothold in lightly psychedelic flavored progressive folk rock of the same era. Both of them are fine efforts that will be well liked by fans of these styles, but as far as overall appeal goes it's the tales that recalls ye olde days earlier on that made most of an impression on me. An album well worth seeking out by aficionados of progressive folk and 70's psychedelic flavored folk rock.
Olav M Bjornsen: January 6, 2012
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