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Gandalf's Fist - A Forest Of Fey CD (album) cover

A FOREST OF FEY

Gandalf's Fist

 

Neo-Prog

3.87 | 168 ratings

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LittleLotti
5 stars A Forest of Fey - translated into something like "a cursed forest" or "a magic forest" - something in between.

The Album starts with some kind of a radioplay where we witness a mother (or a nanny?) with her child, and the child running off, getting lost. Seamlessly, we're sucked into the story, as the first song begins right at this very moment, telling us that something is luring the girl deeper into the forest, some iron gate slamming shut, leaving the girl trapped into the forest. Again, some radioplay footsteps on leaves and some heavy breathing - as if the girl ran away from something, but apparently deeper into the forest.

Next song (again, seemslessly) begins, "Gardens of the Lost" telling the story in it's lyrics - what happened and what lured the girl into the forest. Very nice sounding voice of Melissa Hollick and some good riffing from the band, leading up to some Ian Anderson-esque flute (after some really strange "the Jester plays" bit - in waltz-rhythm). Great song, really pushing up emotions.

Then the title track with some very "hasty" vocals and a great refrain (possibly repeated a bit too often - but then again, as he sings: Seasons never change - repeating itself over and over again? If so - nice concept!).

After some ghostly/creepy speech (possibly by the "figure standing in your way, dressed in smoke") we enter a "World we created" - very spacey and psychedelic (which is quite prominent throughout the whole album), telling us that not all is what it seems to be at first look. This ends, what I reckon, Side 1 of the album, as here we have the first bit of silence before the next song.

Okay, off to side 2 - starts with "The Circus in the Clearing". Indeed, the intro music sounds like some circus music, but played through a somewhat mushroom injected wurlitzer. Really psychedelic... off to this strange circus. The song is divided by some swirling space-travel rotation time-machine piece of journey. Doesn't make sense? Well, you've got to listen to the song in order to fully understand. These words came to my mind when I listened to that bit for the first time.

We exit this journey with some very Iron Maiden-esque fanfare, triplets and stuff - really wanting me to jump up and rock out! Next song (again seemlessly transitioned with a huge and epic battle-scene - must be the tournament mentioned before) again seems to be some way of driving forward the storytelling, as it raises the expectation of what comes next - the "Drifter at the edge of time", a slow ballad which gains speed at the end supporting Clive Nolan's solo quite well!

Lots of Folk-vibes in the coming two songs, drifting off into medieval style on "Return from the Tournament" - thanks to the collaboration of Gryphon's Dave Oberlé.

But then the one I was personally waiting for - John Mitchell doing lead vocals at "Stories Old and Stories Told (Of Children Brave and Children Bold)" - and what a great song that one is - intermission with a bassoon, some creepy childs-choir singing some king of "ring-a-roses", and John with his smoky voice, it fit's that song sooo nice! That really is my highlight of the album! You have to hear this song, if any!

Last song "A Poison Tree" is a poem by William Blake, brought into sound with some Iron Maiden like vocals in the end - really sounds like Bruce Dickinson in the end, but he's not listed, so I guess it's Mr. Marsh emulating at a very high level.

A Forest of Fey is a hell of a ride, if you let it suck you in. Grab a bottle of old red wine, put on your headphones and dim the lights - you're really in for an adventure! 5/5 Stars!

LittleLotti | 5/5 |

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