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Jon Anderson - The Fellowship: In Elven Lands CD (album) cover


Jon Anderson


Prog Related

3.73 | 49 ratings

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5 stars "In Elven Lands... a musicological reconstruction inspired by the myths, poetry, and linguistic works of Professor J.R.R. Tolkien," reads the first page of the liner notes, after opening the case past mediaeval-style elvish poems.

In Elven Lands accomplishes it's goal more fully than many similar attempts do- to re-create the spirit of Middle-Earth. Some adaptions, like Blind Guardian's Nightfall in Middle Earth are excellent albums, but they don't seem to naturally flow with the true mood of Arda. To successfully transport the listener into another world, the musicians in The Fellowship (all 12 of them) use both modern and ancient instruments in a very traditional, non-prog rock manner.

Although every track does construct the Middle-Earth spirit, many of them fluctuate drastically in scope and mood. For example, the second track, Dan Barliman's Jig, is a humorous ditty while the next track, The Silver Bowl, is much more somber and bare. Several of the tracks are sung in elvish, ranging from the celestial Verse to Elbereth Gilthoniel to the warm Elechoi. The Liner notes are phenomenal because they not only present the lyrics in Elvish and English, but also an explanation of why each track is included on the album.

Other tracks like OromŽ: Lord Of The Hunt, featuring a slow climax of brass instruments, are instrumental compositions. The absolute highlight, however, is The Sacred Stones sung by Jon Anderson. The lyrics, in true Jon fashion, paint a picture; they manifest the whole mood of the album delicately and beautifully. The golden peacefulness, yet limitless power, that ripples beneath the surface is simply incredible. "We're given heaven each and every day," Jon proclaims. He uses the powerful story of Morgoth's banishment and the recovery of the Silmarils to meditate on pure universal truth...

Next on the album is a haunting re-arrangement of Led Zeppelin's Battle of Evermore, and then a few other tracks that continue to show variance and originality between themselves.

In Elven Lands is essential for any fan of Tolkien. Even if the listener isn't a die-hard fan, though, he can still draw incredible enjoyment from this journey and experience a remarkable album, seemingly pulled from another age.

Rating: 9/10

Earendil | 5/5 |


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