Rev­er­ence to Old­field with a few ir­re­sistible new tricks.

Prog - - The Musical Box - CR

The third jour­ney into Robert Reed’s world of high-class homages to Mike Old­field is laced with lovely pas­sages. To those who deem him merely an Old­field copy­ist, Reed’s re­torted that the master is pleased some­one’s picked up the ba­ton in the medium of long-form mu­sic, and the pre­vi­ous Sanc­tu­ary al­bums showed a blend of respectful repli­ca­tion and di­vert­ing pro­fi­ciency. The pres­ence of Tubu­lar Bells pro­duc­ers Tom New­man and Si­mon Hey­worth, and drum­mer Si­mon Phillips, adds cred­i­bil­ity and con­sum­mate sound qual­ity here. Reed says he’s moved on from the first two al­bums, but the Old­field trade­marks are still here, es­pe­cially in the way phases close and new ones be­gin, and in that warmly stri­dent gui­tar tone. There are lots of fe­male and choral vo­cals, which nudge it into 70s

Rick Wake­man ter­ri­tory, and per­haps too much Gaelic fid­dle-di-dee. Over­all, though, in at­mo­sphere, Om­madawn is the key influence. There’s some­thing en­dear­ing about the de­vo­tional im­mer­sion into the art of a hero, and while this feels faintly less con­vinc­ing than the start of the whole trip, its in­vi­ta­tions to for­sake logic and lose your­self in its me­an­der­ings are of­ten ir­re­sistible.

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