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CD REVIEW: Agnus Dei Ė Merlyn
By Ben Ohmart - 07/20/2002 - 01:23 PM EDT

Artist: Band: Agnus Dei
Album: Merlyn
CD Review: I listened to and reviewed Agnus Deiís 'Lemuria' the other day, but I must admit I didnít find it nearly as pleasing as Merlyn. Sometimes I like to give the benefit of the doubt to a cd or new artist: telling the truth without damning them, because the one thing you donít need early on in a career is a bad review. You need the Truth, but you donít need to be mean and you donít need to hurt sales needlessly, without thinking. You need to tell people in a Nice way that it stinks, or email them privately. There. Thatís my first lesson in how to be an underpaid reviewer.

But I really donít have to hold back with my comments for this delightful release. If you like Rick Wakeman, youíll at least like Agnus Deiís mode of piano instrumentals, helped on by a goodly amount of synth that never tries to sound like what it ainít.

When I hear ĎMerlyns Wanderschaftí and ĎSternentraumeí I really am taken into Wakemanís court of stylish, tuneful new age music, whipped up by a glowing theme of old, deftly managed by keyboards that can transcend time and place. Granted, you must Like the sub-genre first to appreciate it fully. But if you are into Vangelis, David Lanz and the rest of them, youíll find a welcome retreat in this story.

Gerald Kramplís music is formed around the lyrics (printed in the cd booklet) by his wife Hilde. Translated from the German (they are from Austria, ya know), these poems are simple yet elegant and fitting to the music, or vice versa. None are sung. They donít need to be. They are guiding, and thoughtful, and a welcome edition as we are all guided into the realm of Merlyn Ė The Return of the Magician.

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