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Will-O-The-Wisp - Second Sight CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.28 | 13 ratings

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Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars Another very good album from the underappreciated Greek group Will-o-the Wisp, even if I have to admit this one doesn’t impress me as much as their debut. Musically it is quite similar to their first, although the various tracks don’t seem to flow together as smoothly as that one despite this being sort of a thematic release. It’s not really a concept album though, as the lyrics and plotline doesn’t connect together from song to song quite well enough to form a complete story; and some songs such as “Ropedancer” and “S.T.3” don’t seem to fit at all. But for the most part the whole thing works well, and the themes of mystic worlds and mythical characters are pretty consistent with most of the rest of the band’s repertoire.

Lead singer Aggelos Gerakitis is solid throughout once again, his clear and slightly accented voice carrying the mostly keyboard and synthesizer-rich instrumentation. Guitarist Takis Barbagalas tends toward arpeggios and long, drawn-out riffs more associated with neo- or progressive metal music than psych, but for the most part the resulting sound comes together pretty well. On subsequent albums this leads to the band taking on a bit more of a derivative sound than occurs here, but for now the band’s sound is still fairly distinctive.

Keyboardist Dina Nassi plays a Fender Rhodes, piano and Hammond organ once again, although he seems to favor the Hammond most of all, and there is very little piano as opposed their self-titled album where he both opens and closes the record with piano-dominated tracks.

Jazz chanteuse Sofia Rapti is back as a guest vocalist, although I don’t know why they call her a guest since she appears on all of their first three albums. This time her role is much subdued though, and we don’t even hear from her until the third song “Queen of Darkness” and not really much after that except some almost wordless backing vocals on “The Message”.

Back to the lyrics for a moment- while the band works very hard to give the impression of being a fantasy-driven, Celtic mystical sort of group, the lyrics tend to be a bit trite and even vague at times. In that respect they remind me a bit of some of Green Carnation’s lyrics; sort of poetic and mildly spiritual but in the end not saying much except maybe to the band themselves and insiders who know what (if anything) they are actually talking about (such as here from “Queen of Darkness”):

“I love the day because I can see the colours;

Now I stand on the edge and I love the night because I can see dreams”

Okay, if you say so.

But this is easily forgiven because these guys are ultimately quite likeable, and their music fits the mood as comfortably as your favorite shirt. I wouldn’t recommend them to people who like Zeuhl or avant-garde or guttural metal or the like, as you probably won’t find much to appeal to your taste for sounds that challenge accessibility. But for fans of indie music, modern folk, mellow psych and contemporary world music, as well as those who enjoy highly keyboard-infused tunes, I would recommend this band and this album. It’s not their best, but it is a very solid three stars and might even have been four had they not spoiled me with their debut. Well recommended.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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