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THE MASTER AND THE MONKEY

Gandalf's Fist

Neo-Prog


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3 stars A new band from Cumbria, England. See interview for more info on the band.

Cumbria had a very good music scene back in the 1970s with several prominent bands which is also included in these archives. Gandalf's Fist has denied any connections in the interview. I believe them. But it is obviously something in the water there because what comes out of my speakers has some connotations to previous Cumbrian bands. Or perhaps it is the landscape that forms the music there. A Tolkien landscape.

The music on this album is mainly a collage of folk rock and Pink Floyd'isms. Add some subtle heavy prog elements too into this mix. Their sound is a mix of 1970s prog/folk/space rock and today's scene. The musicians does a very good job. The vocals are good too. The music is mainly guitar and mandolin based with keyboards and samples adding extra texture. There are plenty of Gilmour like guitar solos here.

In short, there is nothing here I find disagreeable. The only thing missing here is some really great tracks. The songs are good though. But it never rises above the parapet and breaks cover. But this is by all means an album well worth checking out. This being a debut album, I am pretty impressed.

3 stars

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Send comments to toroddfuglesteg (BETA) | Report this review (#521274)
Posted Monday, September 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
apps79
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Neo Prog Team
3 stars Gandalf's Fist were found by the duo of multi-instrumentalist Dean Marsh and lyricist/vocalist Luke Severn at ther university of Newcastle in 2005.Their influences came from the 70's Classic Rock, 70's Prog Rock and modern Prog Rock scene as well as British Folk, but the first two years were spent in recording more experimental instrumental music.They relocated later in Cumbria, working more on these compositions and adding constantly more progressive elements and their efforts appear on their first album ''The Master and the Monkey'', an indepedent release from 2010.

The first and longest composition of the album gives a good idea of Gandalf's Fist's music.An interesting mix of modern Space Rock, bucolic Folk and more hard-edged PORCUPINE TREE-like Heavy Prog with distorted vocals, tightly connected themes and a very unique atmosphere.The shortet tracks following are split between the two styles.Nice and vintage folky soundscapes with acoustic textures and even some Celtic influences and spacey, atmospheric and proggier pieces with electronics and sharp guitars in the forefront, having a very contemporary sound.But sometimes these tracks combine a dual offering of acoustic and electric motives, while the vocals continue to be slightly distorted, not being the best point of the album.The music though remains very deep and atmospheric all the way with radical changes between soft and intense moments.

Pretty decent debut for these telanted British guys.What this album lacks is only some sense of melody and a better vocal delivery, otherwise you have to deal with some very nice atmospheric Prog in ''The Master and the Monkey''.Recommended.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#899629)
Posted Saturday, January 26, 2013 | Review Permalink

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