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White Willow - Signal to Noise CD (album) cover

SIGNAL TO NOISE

White Willow

 

Symphonic Prog

3.55 | 85 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

infandous
3 stars 3.5 stars really!

This seems like a natural progression from the previous album to me. I really don't hear a more "contemporary" sound on here, though a couple of songs lean that way. It IS more modern sounding than their first 3 albums, but so was the previous one and this one just seems to take that another step further.

The new singer doesn't sound all that different to me than the previous one to be honest. Certain songs, like Joyride, do highlight her different approach. But others, like Splinters, sound pretty much like the previous singer to me (at least her performances on the last album). The one song where I notice the most difference is Dusk City, where her voice works better with the heavy riffs than the previous singer.

The instrumental Ghosts is one of the best things I've heard from White Willow, while Joyride is a departure into almost happy music territory (though the lyrics are not entirely upbeat). I suppose the opening track, Night Surf, might throw some fans off due to its more modern and condensed approach, but aside from that track and Joyride the album is very much like the previous one to my ears. Songs like Splinters and The Lingering hark back to the dark and heavy style of Storm Season while still retaining some of the retro charm of the earlier albums. The previously mentioned Dusk City would have fit quite well on SS also.

Frankly, I quite liked the progression that White Willow seemed to be following for the past 3 albums. The contemporary sounds served mostly to enhance the bands distinctiveness without drastically changing their style or approach. The biggest disappointment about this album for me is the fact that it appears to be the last one (at least, this formation of White Willow has been "dissolved" according to Holm-Lupo.........though he did also indicate that he and Frĝislie would probably do something under the WW banner in the future).

So a couple less than stellar tracks takes this down to 3.5 for me, rounded down because overall it isn't quite as good an album as the previous one. I would have very much liked to hear where this lineup would have gone next, but I guess this is what we have. On the whole though, an enjoyable album that fits very well into their discography and is a logical successor to the previous album.

infandous | 3/5 |

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