is one of two albums released back-to-back by Austrian duo, Agnus Dei. Like “Merlyn”, “Lemuria” is a package of original music composed and played by Gerald Krampl and a booklet of poetry written by the late Hilde Krampl, Gerald’s wife, who sadly died of cancer shortly after the albums were released. The poems are to be read while listening to the music, and tell the legend of the crystal world, the threats to its existence, and the plan to save it peacefully. I enjoyed “Merlyn” a lot, but I like “Lemuria” much better. The music seems more evocative and substantial. I also felt that “Merlyn” would be improved with a grand piano and real strings, but the keyboard instrumentation on “Lemuria” suits the music perfectly. Gerald Krampl was the founder of and keyboardist for two progressive rock bands in the 70’s and 80’s, and the influences are heard but updated into more of a neo-classical/new age sound. “Lemuria” works really well as a concept album, and most of the music is soothing and relaxing. “Longing” opens the collection with a wistful, dreamy mood conveyed with piano and synth woodwinds - a very beautiful piece. “The Cave In the Magic Forest” is a lighter but still bittersweet piece - just a little mysterious. “Guardian of the Crystal” is more stately and reverent, and has more of a symphonic sweep. “Somewhere Is Hope” hints strongly of Erik Satie, and is very dark and somber. My favorite track, “In The Dome of Light,” is much more upbeat and describes the joyous victory celebration while the heroes produce a dome of light and love over the city to protect it forever. “Lemuria” is available from www.indigomusic.at
. Very enjoyable!