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Stone Angel - The Holy Rood of Bromholm CD (album) cover

THE HOLY ROOD OF BROMHOLM

Stone Angel

 

Prog Folk

2.00 | 1 ratings

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ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
2 stars This is a live album of sorts, meaning (I believe) nothing more than it was pretty much recorded in single takes. These tracks were intended as demos, recorded in the early days of Stone Angel’s first incarnation of the mid-seventies. The record was never released to the best of my knowledge, so the only issue available is the one Kissing Spell made on CD when they ‘discovered’ the band in the mid-nineties.

The tracks were recorded in a church, and there’s an ambient hollowness that hints of spacious ceilings and hard-backed pews and general dusty openness. That pretty much describes the music as well, which at times leans closer to almost medieval British traditional folk (particularly “Dancing at Whitsun” and “The Cuckoo” (which if I’m not mistaken is actually a traditional British folk song); while elsewhere Paul Corrick manages to anchor the songs in the general vicinity of the 20th century. If you’re into up-tempo Celtic fiddling there’s plenty of that, with some songs such as “King of the Faeries/The Ash Plant” and “Station Island” coming off as borderline jigs. On the other hand the band shows their proficiency in a cappella vocals with three-part harmonies on “Harvest Song” and the very traditional-sounding “False Knight on the Road”.

Several of these songs appeared in slightly more polished form on the band’s first, self- titled album released in 1974 on the obscure Seashell label, including “The Skater”, “Black Sailed Traders” and the title track which is almost identical to the studio version. The one interesting repeat is “Galliard”, a remake of their original tune “Galliard Merric England Is Music Box” that has both a shorter title and shorter length, but manages to add vocals where the 1974 version is an instrumental.

There are a couple songs on the album that probably qualify as proper acid folk - “Seventeen Come Sunday” and “The Skater”, the latter of which manages to include acoustic guitar with noticeable psych leanings); but for the most part this is fairly tepid folk music with just enough modernity to keep it from qualifying for release on a classical music label. Combine that with its modest recording quality and bare-bones post-production and you have a record that has nothing significantly wrong with it, but only manages a rating of ‘for collectors only’. Recommended only for really dedicated Stone Angel fans, collectors of obscure folk ‘rock’, and middle-aged liberal arts professors who wear tweed and actually remember the sixties. Two stars.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 2/5 |

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