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The Gift - Land Of Shadows CD (album) cover


The Gift


Symphonic Prog

3.62 | 60 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars The Gift return after an eight year hiatus following the much lauded 'Awake and Dreaming', After many highs and lows and line-up changes, including a new co-collaborator (David Lloyd), frontman Mike Morton has produced an album that touches on dark themes but always has hope and dynamism.

Starting the superb stentorian spoken word introduction of 'I Sing of Change', we then move on to the first of the albums two epic tracks, 'The Willows' shows Mike at his minstrel best, imagined playing his guitar on a lonely mountain top moaning the fate of modern Britain. A post-apocalyptical scene in the cultural sense. There is a hint of the theatrical about 'Road Runs on Until Morning' cleverly paced with a catchy chorus and distinctive guitar.

The Gift and Mike Morton become expressive and soulful on 'Walk into the Water' an ode to Mike's late father-in-law. The whole song is cathartic, peaceful and radiant. A great example of the light shining through from the darkness. 'Too Many Hands' is upbeat and fast paced yet still dark in its initial nature.An ode for a modern age sung by a modern-day bard. The guitar solo follows a theme that David and Mike have introduced wherein it imitates the vocal line, very clever.

Sublime and ardently beautiful, 'You are the Song' is the most directly ballad like track on the album. It really plucks at your heartstrings, exquisite and perfectly formed.

The second epic on the album 'The Comforting Tale' tells the story of man close to death who is brought back to life. Based on the Lazarus myth, it asks the question that, if this man has had a happy and fulfilling life, should we really be bring him back? Would he prefer to be left to go to the afterlife. Mike has a fascination with near death experiences and this is his homage to it. Another brilliantly written and performed track. Harmonious and inspiring, it is a truly emotional journey. The final track 'As' is a sentimental and touching and a gentle finale to a superb album.

'Land of Shadows' carries on from the amazing 'Awake and Dreaming' and takes The Gift to another level of brilliance. It is uplifting, life confirming and, tantamount to genius.

Hutchy123 | 5/5 |


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