Alan Stivell

The Mist of Avalon

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This album -- which, at times, recalls parts of Kate Bush's Hounds of Love -- is also reminiscent of Bo Hansson's Lord of the Rings, being a musical homage to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Arthurian novel The Mists of Avalon, much as Hanson's was a homage to Tolkien's trilogy. But Stivell's record is not instrumental--rather, it has lots of songs sung partly in Breton and partly in English. It is essentially a progressive rock album (it could even have charted had he done it in the early-1970's), complete with electronic keyboard-driven passages, and a full rock band sharing space with Stivell's harps, bagpipes and tin whistles. Stivell's voice is something of an acquired taste, but his vocals are supported by a trio of guest singers and a small female chorus.

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