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The Chronicles of Father Robin - The Songs & Tales of Airoea Book I: The Tale of Father Robin (State of Nature) CD (album) cover

THE SONGS & TALES OF AIROEA BOOK I: THE TALE OF FATHER ROBIN (STATE OF NATURE)

The Chronicles of Father Robin

 

Symphonic Prog

4.30 | 134 ratings

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Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Originally released as a three LP box set, Karisma is releasing each disc separately, starting with this one, Book I: The Tales of Father Robin. Karisma realized the box set can be a bit spendy for some. This review is for the first part, obviously as this was all I got to hear from buying the LP and downloading it on Bandcamp. Turns out I was able to save up for the box set, Karisma has a few unsold copies and I bought it. Hearing all the raving like from Scot Lade from Prog Corner on Youtube, I had to check it out. For one thing, members of Wobbler, Tusmørke, and Jordsjø are on this project, as well as members of Samuel Jackson Five, which I'm not familiar with but the other three I am very familiar with as I have most of the albums they've done. Now being familiar with the whole set, it's clear this is by far the heaviest, most aggressive of the three, not to mention most keyboard-dominated as Lars Fredrik Frøislie has his presence felt and he appears to be absent on the other two. To be fair the main nucleus of The Chronicles of Father Robin is Andreas Wettergreen Strømmen Prestmo, Jon Andre Nilsen, and Henrik Harmer, with other members coming and going, since this did take 30 years to make. This first installment is so incredibly mindblowing that I'm in disbelief. This could very well be the greatest retro prog album to come out of Norway (and I'm hoping the next two installments are just as great). "Prologue" is basically the sound of wind and rain, and some slight background music. "The Tale of Father Robin" is a nice but very brief folk-influenced number, which will hardly prepare you with what comes next: full on lengthy and complex symphonic prog of the first order. "Eleison Forest" is simply incredible and intense, I really dig that organ part that starts the album and hear periodically throughout. There are reminders of Wobbler, hardly surprising that Lars Fredrik Frøislie provides keyboards and Andreas Wettergreen Strømmen Prestmo provides vocals. The music is simply packed with great analog keyboards including the Mellotron and Hammond organ. "Twilight Fields" is the lengthiest piece on the album and the King Crimson influence shows up as some of guitar riffs reminds me of "Larks Tongues in Aspic Part II". There are plenty of Wobbler-ish moves as well. "Unicorn" is perhaps the closest to the Rites at Dawn-era Wobbler sound as I get that similar mood. I am not too surprised about the Wobbler similarities any more than Lars Fredrik Frøislie's solo venture Fire Fortellinger. I also notice the occasional Yes, Gentle Giant and Jethro Tull moves on this album. Also, what really blew me away was these guys remembered why there is "rock" in "prog rock" as it actually rocks, with plenty of heavy guitar riffs that make me think of those heavier Italian prog bands (but without sounding like them) such as Semiramis, Osanna, Museo Rosenbach, J.e.t., Biglietto per L'Inferno and the likes. This three-disc project was apparently 30 years in the making, and when it was finally completed, it was crowdfunded and it was released. But realizing the box set was a bit spendy for many, Karisma is releasing these separately, as mentioned already. I really not only think this is the best prog I've heard post- 1978, this is just as great as anything from the classic era. This should bound to be a classic, as far as I'm concerned. While it's not recommended to throw five stars at everything, this deserves it!
Progfan97402 | 5/5 |

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