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(42:46; Dr. Coenobite)
Coen’s most recent album is ‘Dragons’, a concept album loosely based on the legend of Saint George, the Dragon-Slayer (Saint George was a soldier who died in 303 AD. He is patron saint of a few different countries, including the UK, but the dragon slaying wasn’t attributed to him until more than 700 years after his death. Does it mean it’s not really true?). With choral interludes, a princess asking for rescue, plus additional effects, this feels far more like a film for the ears. The Oldfield-style electric phased guitars are again very much in evidence, but this album is quite different to ‘Once In A Blue Moon’ as it feels far focussed, more direct but also more complex. There are passages on “Dragon Attack – Castle On Fire” where Coen allows himself to go into full progressive rock with guitars playing a repeated pattern while the keyboard solo over the top. Although this is again an album by a solo multi-instrumentalist, there is a great deal more going on this time, and although it rarely feels like a full band, it certainly doesn’t sound like a Dutch musician very few people even within the scene will have heard of. In fact, when I looked at his entry on Prog Archives it was missing fourteen of his albums, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen that number of albums missing before (fixed now). Although not a totally essential album, it is certainly one I have really enjoyed playing, and it would be interesting to hear what this would sound like with different singers. But it is great to see the underground spirit still at large with a musician pursuing his muse even though few are aware. Now is a good time to rediscover the music of Coen Vrouwenvelder.
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