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Stone Angel - Stone Angel CD (album) cover

STONE ANGEL

Stone Angel

 

Prog Folk

3.56 | 7 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Stoned angel

This will probably be considered sacrilege and blasphemy by the Prog Folk purist, but in my considered opinion the albums that Stone Angel have released after their comeback in the year 2000 are generally much better than this 1975 debut. It must however be emphasized that the respective styles of this self-titled album and the more recent albums by the band are somewhat different. One still recognizes that it is the same band, primarily in virtue of the alteration between male and female vocals and the presence of medieval elements. But there is an element of "Acid Folk" here leaning towards the style Spirogyra, a style I'm not particularly fond of and that is thankfully absent from the newer albums. There are no Rock drums here and the only elements that connect this to Rock at all are occasional use electric guitar and bass lines. As such, I would call this progressive Folk music rather than progressive Folk Rock.

The instrumental performances are clearly not sloppy, but the newer albums clearly display a more skilled and tight band. Another obvious difference between the old and the new Stone Angel lies in the production values, with this older album sounding muddled and under produced, while the newer albums having a crisp and clear sound. Most of the songs here are Ken Saul originals, but they certainly sound as if they were all traditional Folk songs. The song-writing is indeed the most worthy aspect of this album. One of the songs, Black Sailed Traders, would re-appear in a new version on 2000's East Of The Sun. The traditional Pastime With Good Company, supposedly written by King Henry VIII, is not a highlight. I much prefer the version performed by Blackmore's Night.

I do find enjoyment in this album, but I get a lot more out of listening to albums like East Of The Sun and especially the brand new Between The Water And The Sky. The value of this album is primarily as an historical document.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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