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Fern Knight - Fern Knight CD (album) cover


Fern Knight


Prog Folk

3.04 | 5 ratings

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3 stars People have been asking about modern prog folk that does not merely refine the blueprints of the earlier masters of the genre, as admittedly noble as such a mission might be. If one can legitimately argue that folk music in its various forms is as old as the hills, then the artists of this sub genre are blessed in being able to take cues from a time well before 1967, indeed from a time when all music was live and we can only guess how it sounded.

While STEELEYE SPAN, TREES, FAIRPORT CONVENTION and others of their ilk infused hard rock with their folk, shamelessly blending jaunty tunes with gory lyrics, bands like ESPERS and FERN KNIGHT adopt a consistently morose persona consistent with the incessant navel gazing of our times. The end result is music that works great for certain moods and wears well even as it wears one down.

Judging from this self titled release, FERN KNIGHT seems to understand their role better than ESPERS, and, whether the songs are appealing or not, they do possess a certain dark beauty, conveyed by Gillian Chadwick and Orion Rigel Dommisse with their solo and harmony vocals; the gently plucked guitars, and the viscerally resonant strings. While very few significant tempo changes exist, the occasional insertion of harsh guitar reminds one of the generally shrouded rock context of this music.

If you enjoy WHITE WILLOW's more somber aspects, FERN KNIGHT will regale you, and the best tracks here possess the profound tristesse of that band's best work, to the extent that I initially believed FERN KNIGHT to be Scandinavian and winter sun-challenged. The melodies in "Silver Fox", "Loch Na Fooey" (like something off ENYA's first album "The Celts"), and especially "Synge's Chair" are arresting. But you need to be patient as they unfurl. The latter two parts of "Magpie Suite" are also excellent, in particular the harmonies in Part III. Unfortunately, the remaining material can only be recommended for meditation.

This KNIGHT's armour may be unpolished, but the instincts to which it appeals have yet to be named, from a time when we had yet to walk upon this earth.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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