ALAN SIMON – Excalibur V – Move, Cry, Act, Clash! (2021)

ALAN SIMON - Excalibur V - Move, Cry, Act, Clash! (2021) full

ALAN SIMON is composer / musician / writer / film-maker who has been creating music from some time now always revolving around the epic Excalibur story, the legendary sword of King Arthur, sometimes also attributed with magical powers.
With a musical background ranging from hard rock, progressive and AOR, “Excalibur V – Move, Cry, Act, Clash!” is his new installment featuring an impressive line up: John Wetton (Asia), Steve Hackett, Bernie Shaw (Uriah Heep / Bad Company), Michael Sadler (Saga), Roberto Tiranti, Jerry Goodman, and many more.
Sound quality / production is first rate, and all these talented musicians fina alot of room to shine.

The music is grand and widescreen, the instrumentation tight, expertly performed and well produced, the arrangements are BIG, and the soloing is awesome – particularly Martin Barre’s guitar and John Helliwell’s sax. And the vocals of John Wetton, Bernie Shaw, Michael Sadler, etc, are great.

The “old-fashioned production” that Alan has employed for ‘Excalibur V’ has resulted in an album that has an unashamedly late 70s / 80s feel. Martin Barre contributes lots of typically excellent choppy guitar, notably to opening track ‘Move, Cry, Act, Clash’, and to ‘When Your Feelings Grow’, both melodic and epic.
The crashing, riffy ‘The Prisoner’ evokes a version of Deep Purple from around their halcyon In Rock period, the tight, slower tempo ‘Messaline’ nods in the direction of Yes or Genesis, particularly when the organ and strings have their say, and the Celtic power ballad ‘I Said Shout’ gives us a taste of what Meat Loaf would maybe have sounded like if he’d been born in Rennes, rather than Dallas.

Elsewhere, a clear Pink Floyd influence is detectable in the acoustic-flavoured ‘Hey’, a song that features some sublime sax from John Helliwell and it’s almost possible to imagine U2 covering the Celtic anthem ‘A Brand New Day’ – for me, the best track on the album, with lyrics that alternate between English French and Breton.

”Excalibur V” is an album that seems to get better as it goes on. Indeed, my favourite sequence of tracks on the album is the closing set of ‘Wake Up (Before the Last War)’, the aforementioned ‘Hey’ and ‘A Brand New Day’ and the John Wetton showpiece ‘The Vision’, which closes the album.
‘Wake Up (Before the Last War)’ is one of several tracks on the album that makes apocalyptic references, but this time, instead of the bombast that otherwise dominates, the message is dressed in a lazy, jazzy costume – and it’s wonderful.
John Wetton’s guitar and vocal on ‘The Vision’ are divine, and the song is given a gloss finish with a wonderful string arrangement.

‘Excalibur V – Move, Cry, Act, Clash’ is the latest stop on the Alan Simon journey and, if you like your rock with grandiose but melodic arrangements a sharp dramatic edge, this will be an album for you.
Highly Recommended


01 – Move, Cry, Act, Clash
02 – The Prisoner
03 – The Last Bird
04 – Messaline
05 – I Said Shout
06 – Heaven
07 – The Lady of the Lake
08 – When Your Feelings Grow
09 – Wake Up (Before the Last War)
10 – Hey
11 – A Brand New Day
12 – The Vision

John Wetton (Asia / King Crimson)
Steve Hackett (Genesis)
John Helliwell, Jesse Siebenberg (Supertramp)
Bernie Shaw (Uriah Heep / Bad Company)
Martin Barre (Jethro Tull)
Jeremy Spencer (Fleetwood Mac)
Michael Sadler (Saga)
Roberto Tiranti (Labyrinth)
Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra)
Shira Golan & Miriam Toukan (The Peace Tent Project)



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