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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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BrufordFreak
3 stars Despite a cast of prog all-stars as guests, this album is formulaic "prog-by-the-numbers." There is nothing new hear, despite an admirable blending of styles (folk, metal, symphonic). The electric guitar chord playing is especially disturbing as it plays out in almost every song as if a studio musician is playing the same heavily-distorted guitar, chord by chord, as if from orchestral street music. No flare, no flourish, no soul. Several of the vocals are interesting, especially Melissa Hallick on the opener, "Childhood's Ghost"--I have to admit she and that first song got me hooked in enough to give this album a thorough listen. My other favorite, as predictable as it is, is "Drifter on the Edge of tIme." This and the other folk instrumental, "Forest Rose" are, to me, the album highlights. Troy Donockley (of IONA, not NIGHTWISH) adds some nice touches with his wind instruments--though I wonder on songs like "Garden's of the Lost" whether band leader Dean Marsh asked him to do his best IAN ANDERSON/J TULL impression (unless that's someone else on C flute). Clive Nolan and super guitarist John Mitchell's vocals-only contributions are negligible to the over all effect. In the end there is nothing new here. There is already too much of this kind of prog out there--Neo in the extreme. As pure as Dean's intentions were, this is the kind of album that has turned me away from the Neo-Prog sub-genre. For me, prog must keep its music evolving, not merely repeating old masters and old styles.
BrufordFreak | 3/5 |

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