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IGNIS FATUUS

White Willow

Symphonic Prog


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White Willow Ignis Fatuus album cover
3.76 | 108 ratings | 20 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Snowfall (6:30)
2. Lord of Night (7:13)
3. Song (2:03)
4. Ingenting (3:14)
5. The Withering of the Boughs (7:16)
6. Lines on an Autumnal Evening (4:52)
7. Now in These Fairy Lands (5:28)
8. Piletreet (1:47)
9. Till He Arrives (3:30)
10. Cryptomenysis (11:37)
11. Signs (2:04)
12. John Dee's Lament (11:00)

Total Time: 66:34

Bonus disc on 2013 remaster:
1. Lord of Night (Demo) (6:50)
2. Grankvad (Demo) (6:15)
3. I in the Eye (Outtake) (2:12)
4. Snowfall (Demo) (3:09)
5. Til He Arrives (Demo) (3:26)
6. Det omvendte baeger (Outtake) (11:54)
7. Moonchild (Demo) (3:00)

Total Time: 36:46

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Jan Tariq Rahman / keyboards, recorders, crumhorn, kantele, sitar, bass pedals, bass, vocals, devices
- Tirill Mohn / violins, classical guitar
- Audun Kjus / flutes, whistles, pipes, bodhran, vocals
- Sara Trondeal / vocals
- Eldrid Johansen / vocals
- Jacob C. Holm-Lupo / guitars
- Alexander Engebretsen / bass
- The Drummer / drums and percussion

+ several guest musicians

Releases information

CD The Laser's Edge LE 1021 (1995 US)
2LP Pancromatic PLP 2008 (2010 Norway) (remaster)
2CD Termo Records TERMOCD012 (2013 Norway) (remaster)*

* different cover

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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Sacrament (Expanded Edition)Sacrament (Expanded Edition)
TERMO RECORDS 2014
Audio CD$12.49
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Terminal TwilightTerminal Twilight
Laser's Edge 2011
Audio CD$15.99
$13.15 (used)
Ex Tenebris (Expanded Edition)Ex Tenebris (Expanded Edition)
TERMO RECORDS 2014
Audio CD$12.49
$18.80 (used)
Ignis Fatuus (Expanded Edition 2CD)Ignis Fatuus (Expanded Edition 2CD)
Termo Records 2013
Audio CD$22.61
Storm SeasonStorm Season
Laser's Edge 2004
Audio CD$25.99
$17.49 (used)
Ignis FatuusIgnis Fatuus
Remastered · Import
Belle Antique 2013
Audio CD$45.92
$59.28 (used)
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WHITE WILLOW Ignis Fatuus ratings distribution


3.76
(108 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
19%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
45%
Good, but non-essential (32%)
32%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

WHITE WILLOW Ignis Fatuus reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

This is one album that made me have high expectations for upcoming releases but only to be deceived by them. On the strength of the early 90's Scandinavian melancholic prog boom like Anglagard, Anekdoten and Landberk, came a second wave including Catweazle, Galleon, Ageness, Twin Age, Simon Says and White Willow.

If most of these groups were developing an up-graded/up-dated neo-prog, White Willow was definitely looking a bit more towards the retro prog of the first wave groups mentioned above. But unlike those three, they music was not quite as dense (musically speaking, you twits!! ;-) and definitely more atmospheric. But can these guys ever get melancholic!!!

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#7660) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, February 16, 2004

Review by lor68
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars One of the best examples regarding the experimental "Folk-prog" stuff, enriched with some analogical synthesizers. Recommended obviously if you're into such style, that is a sort of modern version of the classic experimental "Folk-prog", concerning for instance the music of GRYPHON , but with elements of "Northern Scandinavian Folklore" and in a symphonic contest as well. Instead - out of this strange contest - probably the right score should be a bit inferior.

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#7661) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, April 04, 2004

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars My fond addiction to this band's music started with their 1995 release on The Laser's Edge. With their patented strong Scandanavian influences, WHITE WILLOW also interestingly for me build in that certain magical progressive mannerism which caught my attention. With a fine array of instrumentation including a fine use of vintage analog keyboards this band have my ears. "Ignis Fatuus" is their most relaxed album to date but still contains all their mystical moods and creative Folk Prog elements. The musicians on this album are also quite talented and offer some great flute, keyboard, acoustic guitar bass and vocalizations. The music of WHITE WILLOW is always teetering on the edge of darkness, but never gets ugly or eerie... always creative. Sara Trondeal's vocals are fantastic and definitely add to the Scandanavian mystical vibe I get when I hear this album. Sara is supported by the talents of Jan Tariq Rahman (keyboards, recorders, crumhorn, kantele, sitar, bass pedals, bass, vocals, devices), Tirill Mohn (violins, classical guitar), Audun Kjus (flutes, whistles, pipes, bodhran, vocals), Eldrid Johansen (vocals), Alexander Engebretsen (bass) and the band leader Jacob C. Holm-Lupo (guitars). Overall a gentle yet very moving album full of superb workmanship and song writing.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#7663) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, February 26, 2005

Review by hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars After reading recently that WW soon will release their fifth studio album I was thinking it's finally time to deliver my outstanding review for their debut. Just beforehand I'd like to emphasise that "Ignis Fatuus" has to be considered as one of the most impressive first releases by a progressive rock band. Already the huge list of musicians involved which is not just a maculation is a strong hint that there's something really big to be expected by this work. Strongly rooted in Scandinavian folk and mostly revealing a dark and melancholic mood this band's music neither becomes pompous nor monosonic at any moment. This album is dominated by acoustic instruments (guitar,flute,violin,cello) and keyboards have been used rather as an accentuation of the atmosphere than as a focus. Although there are reminiscences of the glorious days of early seventies, mainly due to the often used Mellotron this music is far away from any conventional retro prog and exhibits absolutely a modern and self-contained style. Musicianship and vocal performances (both male and female, at times wordless) are consistently flawless and brilliant. All the compositions are highly diversified and ranging from folksy, medieval-type tunes (with authentic instruments like hurdy-gurdy,crumhorn or bagpipes) to modern symphonic type ones, predominantly on the more mellow end of Prog and only occasionally there are more dark-heavy sections. Though it's hard to tell any outstanding tracks since all of them are really excellent, I could mention as highlights: "The Withering Of The Boughts", "Lines On An Autumnal Evening", "Cryptomenysis" and "John Dee's Lament".

Usually I'm careful with giving away the full score for an album, but I think their first one is together with "Storm Season" absolutely worth it. All fellows who don't need their prog to be necessarily heavy and crunchy will probably agree to me. I'm already impatiently awaiting their upcoming fifth release.

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#85085) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, July 29, 2006

Review by sleeper
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Ignis Fatuus is the debut album from Norwegian band White Willow, part of the Scandinavian revival of Symphonic prog rock in the 90's. This is an interesting album were the songs seem to be split, several are Symphonic prog (Snow Fall, Cryptomenysis, etc) and others are Prog folk (The Withering Of The Boughs, Lines In An Autumnal Evening, etc), an approach which works well here and sets out their style for the next few years with confidence.

Regardless of the style of the songs, this album overall has a laid back feel to it and IMO this album is brilliant to just sit back and relax to. The music to many of the songs can be described as slow, yet deliberate, creating a tranquil atmosphere. However, when the musical compositions are combined with the lyrics and the way that they are sung (particularly with the voice of Eldrid Johansson) the songs give of a melancholic feel with a few notable exceptions. The exceptions would be Now In These Fairy Lands and Till He Arrives, both of which seem to give off an uplifting feeling which counters nicely with the melancholy of the other songs.

Though this album is rather soft, with the aim being to create exquisitely beautiful, rather than "rocking" music, there are some songs on here that exude a feeling of power without resorting to particularly heavy guitar, drum and bass sounds that could have been an easy lure. This is a tack shown to its best on the opening two tracks, Snowfall and Lord of the Night, and the closing mini-epics, Cryptomenysis and John Dee's Lament. I notice that these also seem to be the stand out tracks on this album for me. The last two in particular exude a really creepy feeling that can make my skin crawl without ever loosing that sense of beauty. If you like his kind of thing then you really need to hear these two songs.

One thing that I cant get away from is the feel that this is more of a collection of songs than a fully coherent album. Don't get me wrong, the songs work well at getting the feelings that they try to bring from you with the music and lyrics, but they don't seem to mesh together like you would expect. I presume this is due to the songs being recorded over a two year period and some musicians only appearing on a couple of songs.

I also find all of the sub 3 minute songs to be unnecessary on here. For instance, Cryptomenysis and John Dee's lament would flow together really well but they are separated by the 2 minute passage of Signs. I find this gets in the way and it happens at other times in the album. Its not that the music is bad on these bridge's, its just that they weren't needed at all. This sadly means that the album is a bit longer than I think it needed to be, but it doesn't really detract from this.

Overall it's a great album that works really well when you just sit back, relax and listen. Some songs are uplifting, others are more melancholic and some are down right creepy! It looses a star as I find the shorter tracks to be unnecessary and breaks down the sense of cohesion slightly, but it achieves its main aim of creating beautiful melancholic music excellently.

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Send comments to sleeper (BETA) | Report this review (#94725) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, October 16, 2006

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars WHITE WILLOW's debut album is a great blend of dark, Scandinavian Folk music and that classic seventies Prog sound.These are songs that various members of the band had recorded over a two year period. There are so many instruments that are used on this record, it's incredible ! There is mellotron used on at least 8 of the 12 tracks, although it is very subtle.

"Snowfall" opens with gentle guitar as male and female vocals in English come in. There are outbursts of drums before the song becomes pastoral again. "Lord Of Night" has female vocals with light drums and flute. Violin comes into this mellow soundscape. Some heaviness 3 minutes in with some good guitar. Vocals are back after 5 minutes. I'm reminded of SINKADUS 6 minutes in. "Song" is like a traditional Norwegien folk song and is my least favourite. "Ingenting" is one of my three favourite songs on this album. It's very pleasant sounding, so delicate and beautiful with fragile male vocals. "The Withering of the Boughs" is the earliest recorded song that is on this album. It's an excellent tune with male vocals and a female vocal melody accompanying.The song speeds up towards the end.

"Lines On An Autumnal Evening" features guitar and flute with cello later. A great female vocal melody 3 minutes in. "Now In These Fairy Lands" has English female vocals and 12 string guitar as the song builds with drums upfront. "Piletreef" is another very good song thanks to the fantastic female vocal melodies. "Till he Arrives" has some gentle guitar and flute melodies. Drums come in as song speeds up. "Cryptomenysis" is my favourite song on this disc. The organ to begin things reminds me of SINKADUS. The female vocal melodies with drums and guitar are incredible. There is some heaviness after 5 minutes. The female vocal melodies come back late in the song. "Signs" is a mellow Folk song with classical guitar and violin. "John Aee's Lament" is one of my top three songs on this record. It opens with a piano melody followed by drums and male vocals. Drums dominate as the violin comes in. Great sound ! After 7 minutes i'm reminded of SINKADUS again.

If your into SINKADUS I think you'll love this album. It is more laid back than that band though. Fans of Folk music should check this out.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#124570) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, June 03, 2007

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
4 stars Norway fascinates the adventurous and inquisitive mind like few other places. Their people have traveled far and wide, centuries before Columbus, sailing the wild Atlantic seas on brilliantly crafted ships called "drakkars" (that still are regarded by shipbuilders as the epitome of hand-made naval engineering). They fiercely fought of challenges from aggressive neighbors and today enjoy one of the highest living standards anywhere. Their people are modest, quietly charming, exceedingly healthy, sports-minded and have some wonderful progbands (for such a small population): from the veterans Kerrs Pink, Fruitcake and Host to the brilliant Kvazar, the stunning Gazpacho, the astounding Shine Dion, the prolific multi-instrumentalist Bjorn Lynne, the abrasively angular Ravana, as well as the new Vikes on the Block: Wobbler, Magic Pie and Retroheads. White Willow's debut album relies on strikingly beautiful folk atmospherics, incorporating a multitude of classical instruments (violins, krumhorns, recorders, bagpipes) with the traditional progressive arsenal (electric guitar, assorted keys, bass and drums). The end result is a mystical musical voyage that reflects the towering fjords, the lush yet frozen forests, the pristine lakes and streams, the billowing fog banks and the endless arctic horizons. Sara Trondal's shimmering voice entrances and beguiles, ("warm my bones beside the fire" as David Gilmour once so famously sang), with a deeply melancholic and serene kaleidoscope of sounds to elevate the compositions to exhilarating heights. Occasionally guitar flights and the rock solid syncopations of the rhythm section keep the prog ship steadily on course, so one never wanders off into outright folkdom. There is also a very muted hint of despair or perhaps numbness, which is typical of all Nordic civilizations, that is hard to pinpoint on this disc but the following albums will reveal a heavier dose of angst (the cold wind of Thor?) , a characteristic that seems to permeate all Scandinavian progbands , whether from Finland, Sweden, Denmark or Norway. All the tracks deserve applause, with the extended epics "Snowfall", "The Withering of the Boughs", "Lord of Night", "John Dee's Lament " and "Cryptomensys" being particularly haunting, the overall quality of the musicianship is absolutely topnotch, led by group leader, composer and guitarist Jacob Holm-Lupo. This is perfect autumnal musical fare that can only elicit repeated pleasure from those proggers who like mood, atmosphere and fantasy. I am overjoyed to notice the obvious glee my esteemed PA reviewer sinkadotentree holds for this record. Like me, he is most obviously a "Melancholy Man". And that's cooler than the arctic winds.. 4.5 auroras

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#151026) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, November 15, 2007

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
3 stars WHITE WILLOW are a talented progressive folk band/project led by guitarist Jacob Lupo.As Lupo himself admits,he recruits the suitable musicians related to what exactly he has in mind.In 1995 WHITE WILLOW made their debut with the ambitious ''Ignis fatuus''.In this work the band combines the classic progressive rock elements (complicated compositions,intense atmosphere,some symphonic arrangements) with Nordic folk and medieval music.Some of the tracks are quite dark yet pastoral,featuring extensive use of violins,flutes,nice classical guitars and generally folk instrumentation,while some others tend more to the progressive rock sound with good electric guitar work and nice mellotron throughout.Strong point of the musicianship are also the ethereal female vocals,however comparisons are hard to provide.Personally I'd say that you should imagine a mix of GRYPHON's folk sound with RENAISSANCE's atmosphere and early-KING CRIMSON's deep musicianship.''Ignis fatuus'' is an excellent release for all fans of folkish progressive rock and lovers of intense medieval music...3.5 stas for this one!

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#160165) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
3 stars Every so often a band comes around that sounds great on paper. Like for instance, Scandinavian progressive rock with folk influences, a female singer, and lots of analog keyboards. Just as often, something is lost in the translation to the dimension of sound, with White Willow a case in point. Atmospheric yes, interesting surely, captivating.....not so much.

Take the longest song on this White Willow debut album, the epic "Cryptomenysis". It consists of 11 minutes of droning overly long poorly developed riffs and themes. It shares a similar approach to the lengthy closer, "John Dees Lament". The band seems to want to be heavy metalish at one moment, almost pastoral folk the next, but end up overly restrained and unconvincing in both departments. Like a flirtatious lover, it abandons me just when I think we are getting somewhere. Two opportunities to produce something substantial both meet with middling success, or worse.

The array of instruments is impressive, from stringed to woodwind to the aforementioned keys, and the mellotron works wonderfully in the brilliant "The Withering of the Boughs", which features male vocals. The moogs are much less appealing, seeming more trance like than thematic. The vocals, while technically fine, sound like a person in a semi awake state, that is to say, not expressive at all. Several of the shorter tracks manage to stick, as they stay with a motif for 2 or 3 minutes no problem. These include "Song" , ""Lines on an Autumnal Evening" Now in these Fairy Lands" and "Signs", and they stay away from the faux hard rock..

This White Willow is a bit shady for me, but if you like a less well developed "I Talk to the Wind" mingled with a more subdued "Larks Tongues in Aspic", then feel free to branch out here. A weak 3 stars.

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Posted Saturday, February 09, 2008

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars At least, the Swedish are not alone!

They got the hand of their fellow Norwegian comrades in the form of White Willow. The music played is not as complex as most of their Sweden counterparts (the usual suspects): they have incorporated some fine and folkish influences which gives a special character to this album.

The first two songs are particularly interesting. Snowfall for instance is a sweet complaint full of acoustic glory, but whose sung parts are too mellow to my taste. But this might well be a general remark. Fortunately, some mellotron, guitar and good fluting are putting these vocals in the back of my head. Same applies to Lord Of Night. To be concise, I would just say that one has the impression to listen to some sort of Trespass counterpart. But I like this album very much, so.

But from then on, the quality is decreasing seriously with the short Song (the weakest of all) as well as with the peaceful and tranquil Ingenting.

The band catches up again with better inspiration, good fluting and fine symphonic passages (The Withering of the Boughs or Lines On An Automnal Evening). Still, I am not convinced with the female vocals during the fully Trespass-esque again Now in these Fairy Lands. The work on the synthesizer is very pleasant and compensates the relative weakness of the vocals again.

For a change, Cryptomenysis has a definite Crimson edge. But this track remains symphonic, and the darker and repetitive mood adds some new angle to the music proposed on this album. Fine violin is an add-on here as well. It is one of the best track from Ignis Fatuus although the closing part is longish. The closing number John Dees Lament which clocks at eleven minutes is almost a carbon copy of Cryptomenysis.

In all, this is a pleasant and mostly pastoral album which would have gained being a bit shorter (the small pieces could have been dropped IMO). It also lacks of variety and is too much focused on the Trespass atmospheres with some KC input towards the end. Somewhat derivative at the end of the day.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#186303) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, October 18, 2008

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars White Willow's debut album presents a compelling blueprint for their future sound but doesn't quite bring everything together to deliver the goods. The band's enthusiasm for incorporating the folky elements into their music makes them one of the most pastoral-sounding bands that ever drew inspiration from Trespass-era Genesis, and the vocal talents brought together on the album are charming, but tighter production and more compelling songs could have pushed this sound to the next level. As it stands, it's a decent enough album for those already keen on White Willow's brand of pastoral symphonic prog, but it doesn't quite succeed as well at establishing an atmosphere as some of their later work.

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Posted Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Ignis Fatuus" is the debut full-length studio album by Norwegian progressive rock act White Willow. The album was released through The Laser's Edge in 1995. White Willow are one of the most prolific acts from the 90s Norwegian progressive rock scene.

The music on "Ignis Fatuus" is 70s influenced progressive rock packed in a warm and organic sound production. There is a vintage analogue feel about the album which is further enhanced by the inclusion of instruments like violins, pipes, flutes and vintage keyboards/synths (some of which also provides the music with an occasional folky edge). There are both male and female vocals on the album but they are generally pretty sparse (and delivered in both English and Norwegian). The musicianship is on high level.

The atmosphere is generally on the darker side of the progressive rock fence. Even to the point of being sinister at times. Especially the violin adds an eerie darkness to the sound, but also the distorted bass and the heavy drumming does a great job at creating a gloomy sound. White Willow are much more than that though and the album also features more "light" sections. Itīs actually quite a varied release and might require a few spins before it sinks in. Featuring 12 tracks and a 66:34 minutes long playing time, "Ignis Fatuus" is also a rather long album, but as the material are as intriguing, well played and well produced as it generally are, thatīs not necessarily a weakness and of course not at all uncommon in progressive rock either.

The tracks range from 2 to almost 12 minutes in length. Some of the shorter tracks work as interludes between the longer tracks. There are several standout tracks on the album but the two longest tracks on the album, "Cryptomenysis" and "John Deeīs Lament" do stand out the most to me. Fans of dark 70s progressive rock should find a lot to like about "Ignis Fatuus" and overall itīs a high quality release by White Willow. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#1013370) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, August 08, 2013

Latest members reviews

4 stars Although I bought the reissue with the bonus disc, I am going to review only the original album as that first disc has captivated my ear and the second disc has yet to really sink in enough to demand playing time from my brain. It was quite likely that I was not ever going to get a White Will ... (read more)

Report this review (#1205367) | Posted by FragileKings | Saturday, July 05, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The first time I heard this band, was live at NearFest 2001. I was blown away. Along with Banco (who I liked better), they were the best band at that festival. For some reason, this was the only album I bought of theirs at the time (my friend had bought the other two available at the time, so I ... (read more)

Report this review (#226823) | Posted by infandous | Wednesday, July 15, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars For my money this is the strongest of White Willow's albums, and is one of my very favorite folk prog albums. I think the unevenness in style, owing to the fact that the album was recorded in pieces over two years, actually works to the album's advantage, and explores a lot of interesting nooks a ... (read more)

Report this review (#226776) | Posted by ods94065 | Wednesday, July 15, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a very interesting album. There are alot of very good songs, and a few songs that I'm not so sure on. I didn't care much for the song "Now in these Fairy Lands", and there was another with operetic singing, I forget which one it was, but the rest of the songs were fantastic. I will def ... (read more)

Report this review (#124774) | Posted by weaverinhisweb | Tuesday, June 05, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The first time I heard this band, was live at NearFest 2001. I was blown away. Along with Banco (who I liked better), they were the best band at that festival. For some reason, this was the only album I bought of theirs at the time (my friend had bought the other two available at the time, so ... (read more)

Report this review (#60418) | Posted by | Thursday, December 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Well, this album contains two different faces. One it's the sound who remembers old medieval songs and the other brings the sound of a solid prog-almost-metal band. Beautiful, sober and nostalgic. Trondal's voice sounds terrific in "Lord of Night" and "Cryptomensys" is really a masterpiece. Bu ... (read more)

Report this review (#39809) | Posted by progadicto | Tuesday, July 19, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Though there are some "dead spots' in the album( places where the music seems to bog) The album, very deservedly,earns a four star. Quiet, beautiful, mystical,these words come to mind when thinking of this album. The 11 minute epic " John Dee's lament" exhibits classic prog elements. The ... (read more)

Report this review (#7662) | Posted by | Tuesday, October 19, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Best of their first three albums from this Swedish treasure. More complex but less melodic than Renaissance, less dark than Anglagard or Anekdoten, with a distinctive wistful sound based on the women's vocals and flutes. This release will hold your interest through many repeated listenings. ... (read more)

Report this review (#7658) | Posted by BGrosjean | Thursday, January 15, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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