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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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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars 4.5 stars. So here it is the first full length studio album from THE CHRONICLES OF FATHER ROBIN an idea that was conceived almost 30 years ago by a young trio called FANGORN out of Norway in the mid 90's featuring singer and multi-instrumentalist Andreas Wettergreen Stromman Prestmo the current WOBBLER vocalist along with Jon Andre Nilsen on bass and Henrik Harmer on drums and they are the core of this six piece band called THE CHRONICLES OF FATHER ROBIN. It is overwhelming the number of instruments in play here. We also get two guest keyboardists from WOBBLER and JORDSJO respectively, yes Froislie and Oftung!

So yes a concept album, a book if you will and really it's those first two tracks a whole 2 minutes that gets this off to a disappointing start but they more than make up for it with the four monster tracks that follow. I'm glad they included "Twilight Fields" from their 2013 EP this one is a minute shorter but faithful to the original overall. Does anyone else think it's kind of amusing that Froislie who has been a part of this project since that 2013 EP released his own album also based on stories but with Norwegian lyrics. He beat them to the punch and released the better album in my opinion.

Part of my issue with this record was just how overhyped it was. Its been a while since I've heard a buzz like the one over this project. I really feel I'll be giving this the full 5 stars down the road despite that disappointing start. I'm sure it will be a minor annoyance even though I believe the start of an album is important. But man "Eleision Forest" more than makes up for it and at 12 minutes this is a ride. Surprisingly powerful early on and it will settle with flute and I should say the flute is a big part of the sound on this record. Organ is also right there as far as being prominent throughout. Love the wordless melodies before 5 minutes. Repeated themes and contrasts are here in spades.

"The Death Of The Fair Maiden" at 8 minutes is a mournful tale with old english like the KJV. I really like this one. Kind of folky at times but lots of energy at times too. "Twilight Fields" at 15 1/2 minutes has some haunting moments but also powerful ones. "Unicorn" is a great closer with that melancholic start then it brightens after 3 minutes, vocals too. It gets heavy later with a strong finish.

This will be part of my Symphonic "best of" list, there's so much to feast on with this recording, and a top ten for 2023.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |

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