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White Willow - Storm Season CD (album) cover

STORM SEASON

White Willow

 

Symphonic Prog

3.97 | 124 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

terryl
4 stars Dark but sweet.

I got this album on a binge purchase, based on quite good reviews here. This CD is excellent from front the eerie cover (I guess that's Sally from the lyrics), to the actual music in the CD. I am not a real fan of the band but i heard some older work by White Willow. The production here is much better and i like eccentric voice of Sylvia Erichsen more than the more mature but commercial- oriented voice of the new singer in WW's next album Signal to Noise. I think Sylvia sounded a bit like Kate Bush but that doesnt mean she is not totally unoriginal. Let's say the music suits her voice perfectly.

The folk elements in all songs work beautifully well, and provides a stark contrast with the very very dark content of this concept album. The melody of the opening track Chemical Sunset is very haunting in both sense of the word and sticks in my head for weeks already. The flute work in particular is very memorable.

Instrumentation and vocal work in Sally Left provides an image of the somber girl in the cover, standing alone in the rain in a dark cold day (Summer had left me behind). Sylvia is the crying girl and the instruments provide the stormy landscape.

Endless Science is beautiful and provides a 'light' break to this otherwise dark album, just like a cloud break and the sun is shining through, albeit briefly. good cello on the left speaker. The music in this song strangely thinks what Moon Safari would sound like on their most gloomy day and minus vocal harmony.

Soulburn starts out heavy. Male vocal in the very low registry contrasts with Sylvia's when she storms in the next verse along with the full band. The calm and the heavy movements alternate and the mid instrumental section is superb. The distorted rhythm guitar riffs sound like a heavy metal band proper and the brief mellotron solo is prog-lovers' paradise. I love this song.

The bass bass is pretty prominent in various instrumental sections of this song. i am not a bass player but from a few reviews this seems to be very impressive. I am more keen for the build up to the full band experience. Sylvia sounds like she really gave her all this song (Just one last touch as the curtain falls down...) and the lyrics are pretty creepy (the blood upon my hand cannot be my own) but good (To halt the wheel in it's endless spinning, hold twilight until dawn)

The title track starts up very interestingly. The spooky rhythm on which the song builds up in some way sounds like Queen's We Will Rock You, but the arrangement is very solemn in this song. The symphonic arrangement works pretty well. I like the lyrics here but sort of at a lost now about the concept.

The final track starts up heavy, Yummy organ solo here sounds more John Lord than Wakeman. What finale to this terrific album.

I would easily call this essential but I think there are some small problems that prevent me calling this an absolute masterpiece of progressive music. However, if you are a prog fan, it will be excellent to add this to your collection. 4.5 stars.

terryl | 4/5 |

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