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Secret Green

Prog Folk

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Secret Green To Wake the King album cover
3.89 | 23 ratings | 4 reviews | 22% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Prelude (4:54) :
- i. Sunrise
- ii. Avalon
- iii. Red Hall
2. Ecchoing Green (10:33)
3. On Merlin's Ground (7:29)
4. Tom O'Bedlam (8:29)
5. Guinevere Suite (Five Courtly Dances) :
- i. Pavan - The Track of the Moon on the Water (5:12)
- ii. Galliard - On Secret Green (5:38)
- iii. Lourť - Lady Morgana's Orrery (No Real Cause for Tears) (5:05)
- iv. Allemande - My Lord Beedle's Content of Desire (1:30)
- v. Bransle - Poor Mad Tom (Tom's a-Cold) (3:02)
6. Camlann (13:44)
7. NimuŽ (9:16)

Total Time 74:44

Line-up / Musicians

- Francis Lickerish / guitars, wind guitar, lute, bass, keyboards & orchestra
- Jon Beedle / guitar, balalaika
- Hilary Palmer / flute, vocals
- William Gilmour / keyboards
- Matt Hodge / drums & percussion

- Paul D'Oliveira / trumpet
- Dave Storey / drums (2)
- Jason Ducker / guitar (6)
- Robert John Godfrey / church organ (7)
- Mike Hicks / lap steel guitar (2,7)
- Giles Holybrook / contra bassoon

Releases information

CD Holyground HG137 (EU) (2009)

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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SECRET GREEN To Wake the King ratings distribution

(23 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(57%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SECRET GREEN To Wake the King reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What an unexpected pleasure it was to hear that Francis Lickerish had a new project on the go and was to release a new album as Secret Green. Lickerish will be well known to fans of The Enid having been one of the founding members back in the seventies and into the eighties. He's gathered together an excellent band featuring the ethereal vocal talents of Hilary Palmer who had briefly played with Lickerish back in the eighties in Rutterkin. Helping out Lickerish in the guitar department is Jon Beedle and on drums is matt Hodge. William Gilmour plays keyboards and Lickerish also plays some keyboards, lute and bass.

Not surprisingly Lickerish has brought his Enid influences into the music which is a refreshing blend of classical, symphonic prog and medieval folk. The music is brilliantly executed, the band creating an album of immense beauty. The sound is incredibly dynamic from powerful symphonic bombast to as quiet as you can imagine. This is no better demonstrated than on opener Prelude with its orchestral and extremely long fade in coming from total silence to a climatic crescendo topped by Lickerish's distinctive guitar sound. It's straight into the powerful opening of Ecchoing Green, a track of enormous breadth and containing all the grandeur of The Enids music with the added bonus of Hilary Palmers beautiful voice.

It's an album full of highlights over its 74 minutes though the first 3 tracks set a high standard that is never beaten but sometimes equalled. Palmers St Mary's Cathedral, Glasgow chorister experience is put to good use, multi-tracking her voice to great effect on the excellent On Merlin's Ground, another track of extreme dynamics. Tom O'Bedlam by contrast is a relatively simpler piece with more of a folk influence than the more classically inspired tracks preceding it, though not abandoning the set tone altogether.

Without going into every track individually and repeating myself, you probably get the idea by now of the breadth and scope of this excellent album where the folk elements sit comfortably alongside the largely orchestrated music. If you have ever enjoyed the work of The Enid then To Wake The King is an album you'll almost certainly want to own. It's an album of immense originality with few if any parallels in music today apart from the inevitable Enid comparisons of course. An album destined to be one of the highlights of 2009.

Review by Menswear
3 stars Enjoyable at low dose.

The neo-troubadours are a cute breed: pantyhose, lute, hydromel in a brass cup, a feather on the hat and a song in the heart. Althrough an album like Wake the King, you could hit the skip- forward button due to the lenght time a song needs to settle in. Takes forever!

To buy (and enjoy) a record like this one, you need to be a fan. So oye oye to those medieval cravers, this one is for you. For the me, once in a while is enough. But sometimes, I need a fix of rescue-the-damsel-in-distress music, this is a good choice. You have that single-coil guitar pickup solos Malmsteen style in some places, and a realistic medieval theme all the way, not much shortcuts towards any other style than metal perhaps.

If you like the courtyard of King Arthur music style (menuets and quadrille), this is a good choice but without the goth attitude (Moon Concerto, ahem ahem). Definitely not music to headbang on! Try also Octopus from Gentle Giant or The Incosolable Secret disc 2 from Glass Hammer.

Ye olde style delivered with melody and care.

Review by kenethlevine
4 stars I somehow doubt that fans of groundbreaking cult group ENID, during a 13 year drought, got together in their drafty cellars and lamented into their draughts that what the ENID needed to do above all was incorporate Olde English folk derivations into their already twee arsenal. But, if I had bothered to follow the group at some point that's surely what I would have concluded. Curiously, the deliverance came in the form of former member FRANCIS LICKERISH and his SECRET GREEN project, coincidentally (or not) released in the same year as the mother ship's first sailing since 1996.

Luckily so much more than lip service is paid to intrinsic folk influenced numbers like "Echoing Green", "Tom O'Bedlam" (and its companion "Bransle") and "Nimue", but even in the surprisingly aggressive moments like the introduction to "Galliard", the ancient roots are nurtured. Sure, you still get the ceremoniousness of any Enid related production, so fans would be mostly at home here, and the heavenly voice of Hilary Palmer only adds to the enticements.

My main criticism is how slowly matters unfold on many of these tracks, and I'm not always so keen on the timbre of the lead guitars, but really these are ungrateful quibbles when considered in light of this uniquely English event that is equal parts symphony, courtly dance nickelodeon, and social mixer for lords, serfs and scallywags alike. At least that is what the sound evokes, which is surely the point, along with a lament for the long departed and idealized benevolent dictatorships of yore. Given modern vicissitudes, if the KIng has not awakened yet, he has rolled over and wished the nightmare away. That's where SECRET GREEN comes in.

Latest members reviews

5 stars There's a shocking lack of interest in Secret Green - only two reviews of 'To Wake The King' and one of them is so off the mark regarding frames of reference that I've decided to come out of retirement to write a review. Secret Green is the brainchild of composer/guitarist and founding member ... (read more)

Report this review (#741801) | Posted by The Mentalist | Sunday, April 22, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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