Home > CCM, Christian Music, Christian Pop, Christian Rock, Greatest Albums, Jesus Music > 147. The Vigil – Kemper Crabb

147. The Vigil – Kemper Crabb

THE VIGIL (1982)

Kemper Crabb

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.

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  1. TopekaRoy
    February 22, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    I just listened to this album for the first time and was blown away by the brilliant stunning beauty of the music. It reminded me (thematically, not musically so much) of John Michael Talbot’s “The Lord’s Supper.”

    I’m not sure I would categorize it as “contemporary” Christian music, but it is a great album, nonetheless. Thanks for including it in your “countdown.” It’s definitely an Album-You-MUST-Own!

  2. TMc
    February 23, 2011 at 2:02 am

    I bought it when it first came out only because I recognized Kemper’s name from the earlier Arkangel album. Thank goodness I was in college and had been involved in Madrigal Dinners. I still enjoy it a great deal and would throw in Doulos and Fairest Lord Jesus.

    I’ll throw in this thought about the album belonging here. I tend to think of it as a contemporary take on this style. It belongs. I’d put it higher on my list, but there is much I haven’t heard yet and this isn’t my list (Don’t think I own 500 albums total).

    • August 15, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      This would be much higher on my list too, TMc. I’ve been buying and listening to all kinds of CCM since 1975, and this is still one album I never get tired of.

  3. Don
    April 8, 2011 at 4:42 am

    you cannot overestimate this soft, classically styled album. Everyone should own it.

  4. Greenchili
    December 31, 2011 at 6:31 am

    ok. I feel like I’m at a Renaissance festival… 😀

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