Protos | The Noble Pauper's Grave (CD)

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Rock: Progressive Rock Easy Listening: Soft Rock Moods: Type: Lyrical
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The Noble Pauper's Grave (CD)

by Protos

This highly regarded English progressive rock duo have put together another memorable contribution to the art-rock genre. The Noble Pauper's Grave is a concept album with a difference - ideal for dance, drama and theater groups.
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Born a Bit Blue
3:09 $0.99
2. Pause for Thought
0:45 album only
3. Travels
5:11 $0.99
4. Gathering Dreams
0:20 album only
5. The Rally
11:44 $1.99
6. Long Dark Night
0:39 album only
7. The Final Dawn
2:52 $0.99
8. The Noble Pauper
0:57 album only
9. Outcry
10:54 $1.99
10. Turmoil
0:44 album only
11. Aftermath
6:29 $0.99
12. Last Report
0:41 album only
13. Departures
6:37 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
In 1982, Rory Ridley-Duff and Stephen Anscombe released one of progressive rock’s ‘hidden treasures’. Popularised by Japanese, UK and US record collectors in the early 1990s, demand grew until the album was released worldwide through CD Baby. 25 years on, Rory and Stephen have collaborated again in the studio. Aided by performance contributions from Iain Carnegie and Nigel Rippon (Protos members between 1982-1984), the result is unmistakably Protos, and another memorable contribution to the art-rock genre.

The Noble Pauper's Grave tells the story of a man born to privilege who rejects his upbringing. Drawn to the plight of the poor, he helps to organise and rally support for their cause whilst finding love amongst them. A tale of humility, tragedy, courage and affection set to high quality instrumental rock music.

The album opens with Born a Bit Blue, an upbeat blues number depicting the energy of youth. This is followed by Travels, a lilting melodic number in 5/4 time that portrays the noble sailing away to a new life. Next comes The Rally, one of two tracks that exceed 10-minutes in length. This powerful rock track intersperses a march with reflective and melancholic passages. The Final Dawn is a quiet tuneful reprise from danger, communicated through a subtle arrangement for guitar, saxophone, flute, acoustic bass, piano and strings. The fifth track, Outcry, has a dark and moody opening before breaking out into another powerful rock track. The central section depicts a dance that leads to an erotically charged love scene. A finale closes the track, capturing the noble's emotional turmoil as his lover departs. Aftermath, another upbeat rock number, captures the mood of the noble as he faces the retribution of his followers. Departures closes the album with a beautiful portrayal of the noble's funeral and eventual ascent into folk lore.

With 13 tracks (7 instrumental rock, 6 narrative) that join together seamlessly, this unusual concept album has the character of an art-rock ballet. It will appeal strongly to choreographers looking for new music to underpin dance, drama and theatrical productions. For further information, contact the band directly at

The retail CD available from this page includes all music, narrative and story-related sound effects.

The digital release (see 'Albums You Will Love') allows you to download just the seven music tracks in an MP3 album.



to write a review

World Disque (translation by Yasushi Tsuruta

This is a great masterpiece, a step up in scale and quality from their previous
Protos re-issued a CD album titled 'One Day A New Horizon' (1982) last year which we evaluated. They expanded the boundaries of UK symphonic instrumental music, drawing on the palette established by Genesis, Steve Hackett and The Enid. They have reunited and released a marvelous new album [The Noble Pauper's Grave] - a dramatic story that Rory Ridley-Duff (keyboards) and Stephen Anscombe (guitars) have created. This is a great masterpiece, a step up in scale and quality from their previous work with magnificent classical keyboard playing and sweet, flowing, elegant guitars!
Read more... (Xavier P.)

Excellent Progressive Rock CD
“The Nobel Pauper’s Grave” by the exceptionally artistic Protos is an inspiring progressive-rock journey. The musicianship throughout the CD is very impressive. Mixing in narratives, this collection tells the story of a man who flees his life of wealth and luxury to live among and fight for the poor. As such, “The Novel Pauper’s Grave” is very dynamic, containing musical compositions aimed at representing a wide range of emotions and experiences. “Born a Bit Blue” is noteworthy for its lively, melodramatic vibe. “Travels” shifts into a more serene sound. Moreover, “The Rally” achieves a very epic sound through the use of triumphant orchestral lead melodies. “The Noble Pauper’s Grave” is very successful in taking listeners through the highs and lows of this tale’s epic journey.

Andrew Roussak

6 stars if it were possible!
Musically, this very melodic work reminds me, first and foremost, of the best solo albums of Rick Wakeman, and when I hear the guitar lines played by Stephen Ascombe, I think of Camel as well. Rory Ridley-Duff has full command of his synths and samples – music of PROTOS never works boring, as Rory finds the exactly appropriate sound for each phrase. My personal favourite on this CD is the second instrumental track ( Travels ) , a 5/4 piece with a wonderful melody and interesting harmonic changes in the middle part. The harmonies of the sampled strings are underlined with an electric cello played by Nigel Rippon. Actually , the album has not a single piece, which could be seen as a filler – each track has its own character and its own highlights. To summarise my impressions of the Noble Pauper's Grave shortly – it is a very whole, completed and strong compositorial work.

The general sound of the production is very good up to excellent, as far as I can judge - it sounds the same great on each of three audio systems I have. The recording is full of sound, and still works transparent.
My mark for this album – "1" in a German School system, or 6 stars from 6 possible!