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GARY HUGHES ‘Once And Future King - Part II’
(Now & Then/Frontiers FRCD161) (2003)

The second part of Gary Hughes, epic take on the Arthur legend. So who sings this time round? Well Magnum’s Bob Catley, Diamond Head’s Sean Harris and Irene Jansen carry on from ‘Part One’, along with Mr Hughes himself. Joining this impressive list are ex-Royal Hunt vocalist DC Cooper, ex-Rainbow and current Cornerstone/Malmsteen vocalist Dougie White, Harry Hess (Harem Scarem) and the superb Lana Lane. Not a bad line-up really?

Opener, ‘Kill The King’ (not the Rainbow one) sets the scene nicely being a big slab of hard rock with DC Copper showing what he is made off vocally. Couldn’t ask for a stronger opener on an album. Gary Hughes puts in a very heartfelt vocal on I Still Love You (I Still Do)’, showing why he is such a well respected figure in the rock world. Lana Lane addas her blissful tones to ‘Lady of the Lake’, only shame was that she doesn’t get another song! Sean Harris gets a better tune on here, ‘Wikthout You’, that is much more suited to his harder edged voice. Bob Catley duets again, this time with Edenbridge’s Sabine Edelsbacher ( a band who I shamefully admit to knowing nothing about!).

All in all another ‘must have’ album that easily stands up to repeated plays and the unsung heroes on both albums has to be the Ten band members who lay down some rock solid instrumentation throughout. If you haven’t yet bought both get them asap as you’re missing out on a treat.

Related>>Part 1

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Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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