147. The Vigil – Kemper Crabb
THE VIGIL (1982)
Kemper Crabb’s own biography states that he may have been born 700 years too late. That is nor more correct than on his classic Celtic/progressive/folk rock classic, The Vigil. Inspired by the Crusades and the music from nearly that same era, The Vigil is a masterpiece that is admittedly not for everyone.
He has played with Caedmon’s Call and Atomic Opera. He fronted the amazing Progressive Rock band, Arkangel (reviewed later) and has a list of credits a mile long. He is also an ordained minister in the Reformed Episcopal Church and lectures on a diverse selection of theological and sociological subjects.
How truly magnificent is this work? Consider that every review on Amazon is 5 stars and that sealed original copies can go for as much as $200 without a problem of finding a buyer. The combination of worshipful baroque, Celtic hymns, classical instrumentals and brilliantly conceived and crafted lyrics make this beyond anything resembling an AYSO.
Litanies and liturgies are not the normal fair for Christian rockers and many may stumble through upon first listening. But as these brilliant works swirl and envelope an initial appreciation may soon become an obsession. Crabb’s stunningly beautiful rendition of “Be Thou My Vision” is utterly captivating. “The Danse” would later appear on the first Caedmon’s Call worship album.
In a truly paradoxical result, the placement of this album will probably cause some to wonder “what in the world is this?” and others to question how it is not in the Top 10.