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The Future Kings Of England

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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The Future Kings Of England The Fate Of Old Mother Orvis album cover
3.84 | 66 ratings | 5 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dunwich (6:20)
2. Mustard Men (7:12)
3. Bartholomew's Merman (5:04)
4. Children Of The Crown (9:12)
5. A Meeting At The Red Barn (2:23)
6. The Fate Of Old Mother Orvis (18:11)

Total Time: 48:22

Line-up / Musicians

- Ian Fitch / guitar, auto harp, dulcimer, mandolin, xylophone, vocals
- Steve Mann / keyboards, producer
- Karl Mallett / bass, guitar, auto harp, banjo, keyboards, vocals
- Simon Green / drums, percussion, whispe

Releases information

Artwork: Simon Green

CD Backwater Records - OLKCD011 (2007, UK)

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THE FUTURE KINGS OF ENGLAND The Fate Of Old Mother Orvis ratings distribution

(66 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

THE FUTURE KINGS OF ENGLAND The Fate Of Old Mother Orvis reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This one isn't as heavy as their debut was at times, but we still have that Post-Rock / Psychedelic flavour front and center. The PINK FLOYD comparisons are very obvious on this one(I couldn't hear them on their debut) and there is a vocal track as well which is something new. Yes I can say that there is a Krautrock connection, especially on "Children Of The Crown". This band is from Suffolk, England and there is a theme to this album as all the songs are really stories(fiction) of events that have happened in the past in Suffolk. The cover art is a picture of a harbour at Suffolk called Dunwich. While these songs are mostly instrumental there is an accompanying story with each track.

"Dunwich" is about that harbour, and so we can hear the sounds of sea gulls, waves and a storm during this song. Sea gulls cry out to open before a PINK FLOYD-like soundscape takes over reminding me of the album "Wish You Were Here". The organ work is fantastic. A change after 2 1/2 minutes as the tempo picks up and then quickly settles down as mellotron, thunder and sea gulls can be heard. Post- Rock style guitars 4 minutes in as the song starts to build to a full sound to end it. "Mustard Men" is a killer track and the only one with vocals. This is very PINK FLOYD-like, especially the vocal style that reminds me of the "Meddle" album. The guitar led sections are contrasted with the calmer vocal passages. It's like PINK FLOYD has risen from the dead ! Ripping guitar 2 1/2 minutes in as a gale force wind of mellotron comes in. Check out the psychedelic section a minute later. So serene. It's like we're in the late sixties 5 1/2 minutes in. Post-Rock guitars a minute later to end it. "Bartholomew's Merman" sounds like the start of a Post-Rock tune until the synths come in strongly ala PINK FLOYD. It calms down 2 minutes in as strummed guitar leads the way. Bass comes in. It's building. Full sound after 3 1/2 minutes. It calms right down a minute later to end it.

"Children Of The Crown" sounds like a party with the sounds of people talking. Strummed guitar comes in before we get an eastern flavour. This is definitely Krautrock inspired. A baby can be heard laughing 5 minutes in as gentle guitar and organ take over. This is an amazing passage ! Drums and post-rock guitars after 7 minutes. "A Meeting At The Red Barn" is a short instrumental. Sounds like some mandolin or harp in this one as it calms down before 2 minutes. "The Fate Of Old Mother Orvis" is the 18 minute closing track. The sound slowly builds, and it sounds incredible. Someone is speaking in the background.It turns very psychedelic and eerie after 3 minutes(it's about witches). It changes 5 minutes in as guitar and drums take over and build. A powerful, psychedelic wall of sound is the result. It changes again 12 minutes in to a spacey climate. A guitar / drum melody with banjo comes in and builds.

The first one was more difficult to get into but once I did it's still getting better.This one is more accessible and seems to be most people's favourite.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The sophomore release of this English band is a fascinating listening experience.

Combining influences from bands like Pink Floyd and Hawkwind like they sounded at the start of their careers with some slight touches from krautrock, highly psychedelic and atmospheric moods are created and explored. The tunes mostly combine mellow sections with an almost minimalistic approach with epic sounding atmospheres, more often than not exploring a mellow theme before suddenly adding elements that in an instant evolves the theme from a lush soundscape into a rich epic sounding soundscape. An additional trait to the music here is a dark and haunting atmosphere throughout, an element setting it apart from most releases in the same category.

Fans of atmospheric, mostly instrumental psychedelic rock as it was made in the early 70's should clearly check this one out. Highly recommended.

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars Here’s a trio of guys who can’t seem to decide if they want to be a post-rock, psych, or Krautrock band, so instead they combine all three. The Future Kings of England may not in fact be future kings, but I like their style. Think a little bit of Godspeed You! Black Emporer (or Explosions in the Sky), throw in an awful lot of ‘Wish You Were Here’-era Pink Floyd, and you pretty much have these guys pegged.

The opening track “Dunwich” is one of those Floydian songs, with lots of slow, building guitar and keyboard drone with a couple of crescendos that make you realize they are actually trying to be innovative, or at least not completely derivative.

“Mustard Man” includes lyrics and sounds a bit like a mellower version of the hard psych band Dead Meadow. I’ve no idea what the song is about – perhaps the weird Canadian dude from the Mustard Man Adventures. And maybe not. I don’t think you’ll hear many psych-like tunes with post-rock overtones and a mandolin though, so you should probably check that out.

With “Bartholomew’s Merman” the band goes back to ‘Wish You Were Here’ on guitar and keyboards, with the exact same sort of slow tempo and lack of concrete focus that made that such a strong album.

And if you ever wondered what a mandolin and banjo sound like on an Explosions album, “Children of the Crown” is the song for you.

Nearly half the album is taken up with the title track though, and this one is a lengthy and sometimes stalled-out affair that seems to be an attempt at a space-rock/experimental epic. It falls just a bit flat due to the unnecessarily long stretch of keyboard noodling, although the trippy keyboard passages are decent enough.

I was a bit disappointed by the lack of anything really powerful or groundbreaking on this album, although like I said earlier the inclusion of mandolin, banjo, some autoharp and even a dulcimer (although I’m not sure where – it’s in the liner notes) make for a departure from more traditional psychedelic music. I will say that these guys seem to have a talent for composition, even if they don’t have much discipline. Maybe with time. I’d say this is about a 3.499 effort, but not quite up to the level of essential, so I’ll go with three stars and hope they stretch themselves a little more next time. Recommended for fans of GY!BE, A Silver Mt. Zion, modern psych, and possibly just the musically curious.


Latest members reviews

5 stars This was the first Future Kings of England album I purchased. When it came to choosing it was purely down to the fact that Dunwich is only 15 miles down the coast from me. I was fascinated by a band making a song about a place with so much history. A city now succumbed to the sea on a volatile c ... (read more)

Report this review (#317263) | Posted by mark4art | Saturday, November 13, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I was seduced by their first eponym opus released in 2005. For a young English band, the first steps were promising. A nice blend of Pink Floyd guitars (the psychedelia period) with some Cure, even Shadows echoes. An only instrumental music with nice effects. For this second chapter, the recip ... (read more)

Report this review (#266401) | Posted by Thierry | Monday, February 15, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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