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Strawbs - From The Witchwood CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.02 | 251 ratings

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Dark Nazgul
5 stars A glimpse of Heaven. Could I say something else?

"From The Witchwood" is an excellent album, really! It includes only relatively short songs (short yes, but very well refined and absolutely no commercial) characterized by the use of a mostly acoustic instrumentation (including not only guitars and piano, but also more unusual instruments such as banjo, dulcimer, harpsichord and sitar).

In this record the musicians reach a perfect balance between melody and experimentation, drawing from the style of medieval British folk music. There are also obvious references to both the Beatles and the exotic music (especially Arabic and Indian) and this is evident if you listen, for example, Canon Dale and Thirty Days.

Wakeman did a great job with memorable piano and organ solos especially in the hymn A Glimpse Of Heaven (there is an amazing organ/banjo instrumental section in the middle of this song), in The Hangman And The Papist (he played a furious and menacing organ introduction) and in Sheep, the most experimental song on the album, that ends in a contemplative way.

In some songs the band reach a unique melodic sophistication (just listen to In Amongst The Roses and Witchwood to realize it) and a high-class arrangement (for example in Flight and in the choir section of A Glimpse Of Heaven) However, all the songs are absolutely amazing and another special characteristic of the record is that after repeated listening the songs that seem less beautiful, become very rewarding.

Maybe "From The Witchwood" might not appeal to everyone but those who appreciate acoustic music, and hate the excessive technicalities, should not miss the opportunity to hear it. For me it is, simply, the best album of the band and a masterpiece in folk-prog genre.

Five star and 9/10 rating. How can I choose the best song, here? But I always do, so I must choose one!

Best song: A Glimpse Of Heaven

Dark Nazgul | 5/5 |


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