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Gandalf's Fist - The Clockwork Fable CD (album) cover


Gandalf's Fist



4.12 | 222 ratings

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5 stars For my first review on PA I want to cover an album I'm flabbergasted people aren't raving about! I'm not sure where to start with this album other than to say it's the finest conceptual record I've heard in a considerable time. At 3 CD's long and over 3 hours in total, one would assume that this would be an over-log, bloated release but this could not be further from the truth. The tracks are varied and well produced, crossing a range of styles and the story is fully engaging and unique. Speaking of which, Gandalf's Fist have employed professional actors to narrate the tale in between songs. Many names are recognisable from BBC drama, such as Mark Benton, but most interestingly is the inclusion of American Actor Zach Galligan, famous for playing "Billy" in gremlins. The result of which brings about more of a BBC radio play/cinematic quality than the "rock opera" kind of concept album that we are all used to. The band call it a "Mind Movie", which, actually, is a pretty good way of looking at it! The radio play carries the story allowing the songs to breathe and drive the mood of the album. All of which is refreshing as many concept albums in the past have suffered from relying on the lyrical content to drive a story and as such the focus on songwriting had suffered? no such complaints here, the songs are excellent, even in isolation. With special mention to the epic "Lamplighter" suite of songs as well as "Shadowborn" and "Victims of the Light". As with their previous release, Gandalf's Fist have also harnessed some familiar names from the world of Prog (and metal!) to fill their musical ranks. Dave Oberle from Gryphon, Matt Stevens (the fierce and the dead) return again but also in come Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon) and even Blaze Bayley (ex-iron maiden) to help voice some of the characters in the songs. I have to give credit to the amount of effort the band have put into creating this world, the album's booklet and supporting website is full of details and back story right down to the religious structure and language of the world?. you truly do feel immersed in the story. Also, so yourself a favour and get the CD version rather than the download ? the packaging is brilliant? it's got a cool "DVD boxset What it boils down to is, really, an essential album. The music is varied and contains without a doubt the band's finest selection of songs and the story is engaging, extremely witty (in a monty python style at times), and even sometimes quite touching. If you haven't checked it out yet, I emplore you to do so, if you're put off by the idea of the acted sections between songs: Give it a chance. Stick with it. I can guarantee that you'll regularly crack a smile. We're dealing with progressive rock, and what a great, progressive and unique way of presenting an album. I can't think of another record that puts across the story in quite the same way? I suppose you'll have to put aside some listening time to see what I mean!

CaptainOctopus | 5/5 |


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