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Willowglass - Willowglass CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.68 | 82 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Modest symphonic/neo-prog success

Another reviewer mentions not being a fan of one-man shows as there is often something missing when the collaborative dynamic is not present. But he is correct in asserting that is not the case here. Andrew Marshall has done a good job of making this "sound" like a full band and is helped by bringing in drummer Dave Brightman.

The music of Willowglass is a pastoral prog lover's dream come true, not to mention a mellotron lover's dream. Fans of classic bucolic prog like Harmonium, Celeste, Anthony Phillips, and XII Alfonso will want to take special note of this album. While not as successful as Harmonium or Celeste, you have an entire album dedicated to the most romantic and lovely themes and melodies with plenty of space and patience for everything to unfold. Slow to medium paced drum and bass backbone set the stage for constant progressions of electric and acoustic guitars, classical guitars, flutes, and keyboards. As I mentioned before this album features TONS of mellotron for tron junkies. The guitar playing is tasteful and lovely and in the vein of early 70s Genesis or perhaps Camel although they will not be taken to heavier rock conclusions here as they do sometimes in those bands. There is a slight Renaissance folk music feel to some of the tracks as well. One misstep to my ears is the drumming on the track "Waking the Angels." While the guitar melody is again great, the drumbeat here has a very modern "programmed" sound that sort of breaks the spell that you are somewhere in the past. How Marshall could have possibly concluded that was a good choice for this album I'll never know! It sounds like the percussion from a Dido track. This is a decent album that will please fans of modern symphonic and neo-prog but it is hardly essential. It has some nice moments but there are probably hundreds of symphonic albums to hear before you get to this one. Lee Gaskins gets an assist in the overall presentation of the release for the stunning artwork that adorns the packaging. I only wish there were more of it, the inner booklet is a scant 2 page foldover. 6/10

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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