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Willowglass - Willowglass CD (album) cover

WILLOWGLASS

Willowglass

 

Symphonic Prog

3.71 | 67 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

AdamHearst
3 stars I heard the two Willowglass releases in reverse chronological order, so i expected this debut release to be somewhat less stellar than it's brilliant follow-up (the mighty Book of Hours). On the first few listens I felt that was the case; the songs failed to hold my attention as well as Book of Hours and this debut feels over-long and drawn out. The recording quality is somewhat less as well and the songwriting not as deep and intriguing. This is totally to be expected of a debut album though, so i'm trying to not compare it in my mind to Book of Hours, but it's very hard not to.

Peace is somewhat of a throw-away piano intro. It doesn't really move me, though it is pleasant enough.

Remembering starts off a bit more promising with a nice Steve Hackett-esque guitar oriented theme. It's slow and a bit plodding, but again pleasant. It begins to sound more like the Willowglass I love a minute and a half in as we're treated to some excellent guitar and synth interplay backed by lush floating Mellotron sounds. This song draws you in deeper and deeper until you become totally immersed in a brightly colored fantasy world. The second half of the track sounds very 70's and has nice smoky, downbeat, nearly Space Rock feel and it contrasts nicely the brighter palette of the first half of the track.

That is the one thing I love most about Willowglass... each and every track is an epic journey through changing seasons and soundscapes. Songs rarely stay in the same place for very long and constantly evolve through new themes.

Garden is another good composition dominated by that familiar-but-never-old Mellotron backdrop and beautiful analog synth leads and flute solos.

The rest of the tracks more or less follow the same path... There are a couple of shorter disposable tracks but mostly the remaining songs keep up a high quality. The playing feels a little less inspired than on their second release.

Overall this is not as good as Book of Hours but a worthy album that most 70's Symphonic Prog fans should enjoy. 3 stars.

AdamHearst | 3/5 |

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