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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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Calzino
4 stars Well what a surprise! Gandalf's Fist did it again! A Forest of Fey - I've had it on iTunes for about a week now and there's a lot of different sounding tracks here, each of which I have a different opinion but with a 100 words limit I highlight the three which I like best.

Forest of fey: Largely instrumental with more low whistles. Some dark lyrics and a contrasting catchy chorus that was stuck in my head for most of yesterday. Tempo changes keep things interesting.

Circus in the Clearing: Man what a song! I can hear some mellotron wheeling away in the background with pshychadelic distorted vocals and crunching guitar. A really trippy midsection that I really dig with some Bouzouki again provided by Donockley followed by some wakemen- style moog! Really great! More of this please!

Forest Rose: If this isn't an homage to Jethro Tull I don't know what is ? breathy vocals, folky acoustics and flutes-a-tooting left right and center! Whimsical for the most part but has quite a punchy, almost commercial chorus?. Fades seamlessly into: Return from the tournament: this is again the return to the motif we encountered in the circus in the clearing but this time 100% folked up! Donockley again on Bouzouki is accompanied by acoustics (and maybe mandolin?) with lead vocals by Gryphon's Dave Oberle'. What a blast from the past! It made me want to go and give "the unquiet grave" another spin!

All in all, recommended! Not yet on par with the great ancients like Jethro Tull but close!

Edit: got it all wrong! More words!

So here's to the other songs:

Childhood Ghosts: this is essentially an opener/narrative piece, it's rather dark and broody and sets the scene nicely? very malevolent sound effects add to this. There are some flanged (phased?) vocals towards the end that forshadow the mood of the record to follow? sounds of footsteps siege nicely into?

Gardens of the Lost: Great female vocals and acoustic guitar passages. The vocalist here reminds me of Kate Bush during the intro but then takes on a different tone later in the song. Some heavy guitar riffing and flute seem to, bafflingly, recall both thin lizzy and Jethro tull at the same time. Whistles from Troy Donockley add a cool 'celtic' vibe ? probably my favourite track on the album

Figure speaks: Really a narrative track?a low voice that recalls the intro to "the number of the beast" moves the story on onto the next song? The world we created: Interesting track that mixes spacey/verby vocals and Floyd-style guitar with a catchy female hook. Interesting song and very different from everything else in the set.

Blood for a royal pardon: Another narrative track which does it's job quite well. Short vocal section towards the end. Drifter on the edge of time: Another different track ? this time led by some excellent interplay between a male verse and female chorus. This plays to me like the ballad response to 'circus' ? very nice, almost dream theater in places and a groovy little synth solo from Clive Nolan at the end ? probably tied for my second favorite here!

Return from the tournament: this is again the return to the motif we encountered in the circus in the clearing but this time 100% folked up! Donockley again on Bouzouki is accompanied by acoustics (and maybe mandolin?) with lead vocals by Gryphon's Dave Oberle'. What a blast from the past! It made me want to go and give "the unquiet grave" another spin! Stories old and stories told: Another guest vocalist here in the guise of Arena's John Mitchell ? This recalls latter era genesis as well as returning to the themes set up in the first song ? very clever. The song switches to a minor key with the arrival of female vocals and has a very mournful ending ? up there with "drifter" for my second favorite! A poison tree ? very moody closer using the lyrics from a William Blake poem. The vibe again is very different and really seeks to end the story on a cliff hanger. Its short but sweet and then brings in some narrative parts from the intro ? everythings comes full circle!

Calzino | 4/5 |

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