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Afforested Wolf's Heads And Woodlanders album cover
3.49 | 8 ratings | 4 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Willikin of the Weald (3:44)
2. A Late Summer Drift (2:24)
3. The Yearning of the Green Hart (2:37)
4. Escaping King William (3:07)
5. The Hollow Yew (3:29)

Total time: 15:21

Line-up / Musicians

- Alex Betts / Keyboards, Drums, Flute, Recorder, Whistle and percussion
- Jonathan Betts / Acoustic guitar, Bass guitar, Mandolin, Vocals and Anvil

Releases information

Self-produced download

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the addition
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AFFORESTED Wolf's Heads And Woodlanders ratings distribution

(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (62%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

AFFORESTED Wolf's Heads And Woodlanders reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Epignosis
4 stars Each piece of this surprisingly good EP contains enough variations in spite of their respective lengths to make for intelligent and interesting listening, but retains recurring themes to make it memorable. That is good, because good gracious are there plenty of artists who favor one or the other entirely too much, either refusing to play the same note twice in a wearisome display of ability, or deciding to perform the same tedious chord progression and theme in excess of thirteen minutes (looking at you, post-rock). This humble collection of recordings takes the listener through several charming passages while keeping him well-anchored. It blends a few styles, borrowing most heavily from the folk and symphonic schools, relying very much on acoustic guitar and synthesizer, both working through very creative and Celtic-inspired arrangements. That said, there is certainly room for growth and improvement, but I for one heartily look forward to what these gentlemen are up to next.

"Willikin of the Weald" Acoustic guitar, bass, and an immediate synthesizer lead begin this delightful EP. The synthesizer, bass, and flute all have a way of taking turns at the fore, all over solid acoustic guitar work and drumming. After about a minute, it completely shifts its shape, taking on a slightly dimmer mood. Later, the acoustic guitar handles the bulk of the work.

"A Late Summer Drift" Flute and synthesizer dazzle throughout this brisk piece, which is clearly inspired by traditional Irish music.

"The Yearning of the Green Hart" Afforested offers a more melancholic composition, with the acoustic guitar again serving as the backbone. One should expect several varieties of synthesizer lead, as well as a lively flute from time to time.

"Escaping King William" This is the only song on the record. While retaining that traditional Celtic flavor, this upbeat track includes the typical synthesizer work and some lead acoustic guitar bits. The brief vocals are less agile, however, but possess their own gruff charm. Halfway through, the music changes pace, slowing down to become something more akin to the Medieval fare of Gentle Giant.

"The Hollow Yew" The final piece is a happy one, incorporating mandolin and flute over a cheerful chord progression. It slows down tremendously later, relying heavily on a whistling synthesizer before turning into something similar to ELP. The flute-led Jehtro Tull-like sounding beginning returns and concludes the piece.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A wonderful introduction

Afforested are a recent addition to the site and the duo features the talents of brothers Alex and Jonathan Betts of Kent, UK. Like many of us, they are inspired by the medieval woodlands of our imaginations, great stories of the inhabitants, and mugs of ale served up on oak tables at the inn in the nearest village off the wood. Where shady characters shoot accusing glares at outsiders who pop in to take off the chill. And fittingly the musical inspirations consist of Tull and Gryphon but also extend to things like Focus, PFM, and Camel. Their 5-song EP entitled "Wolf's Heads and Woodlanders" is available as a free download on their website, you can link directly from their artist page here at ProgArchives.

With the influences they mention you might expect the sound to be trapped in the 1970s but there is a conscious effort to mix modern sensibilities to the songs, first via the sound and playing style of the keyboards but also in the economy of the tracks. There are no 20 minute meanderings here, all of the tracks are pretty brief in length and move quite briskly from one idea the next. The brothers play all instruments and sing themselves, the keyboards are joined by a wide variety of acoustic instruments, flute, and percussion. The tracks will typically feature an uptempo pace with strummed acoustic or mandolin verses frisky keyboard play, often whimsical in nature. The other lead is really the flute which is all over this album and it is heavenly. Melodies are bright (mostly) and very easy to enjoy with a traditional vibe, Celtic sounding sometimes, just plain woodsy, catchy....but always friendly....this is not Comus' forest. The drumming is competent but a bit tight for my taste. The bass guitar is an important component which serves to provide some needed backbone in a few places, it's tight and played more as a lead than just as backing low-end anchor. Vocals are very minimal, this is actually almost exclusively instrumental stuff. Yet the music does a fantastic job of telling the stories without singing. The music itself is narration to songs with such intriguing titles as "Escaping King William" and "The Hollow Yew." I love music that can speak without words! My one criticism is that with just the two men and with the economical style, the sound does lack a certain punch, it does feel a bit conservative. Perhaps this is fine with them and I'll admit many will enjoy the EP as it exists. However were I advising them on their full length follow-up, I would suggest adding some additional performers, and perhaps trying to open things up a little bit more, especially given the extra time they will have in longer form. A few years back there was a great album from a band called Midlake titled "The Trials of Van Occupanther." I mention that title often because they take a "woodland folk" sound that is delicate at times but also capable of some punch with mellow psych guitar and convincing harmonies. Off topic perhaps, but I'm only saying I think there is some great potential here given a few more tricks from the saddle bag. Aside from that caveat there is no shortage of interesting transitions, convincing progressive folk ideas, and love for the material.

This is a wonderful EP that I encourage any and all music fans to check out. I thank the guys for making it available to anyone and I wish them success with their full length album which is in the works. Recommended! 7/10

Review by progpositivity
3 stars The band name (Afforested) and EP name (Wolf's Head and Woodlanders) combined with the cover photo to immediately conjure up expectations of stylistic similarities to Tull's "Songs from the Wood". And while I won't deny that earthy organic elements are omnipresent, I was very pleasantly surprised at how pervasively and effectively modern keyboard sounds were integrated into the mix.

This very nice collection of focused and varied tunes leaves me wondering if perhaps Afforested will turn out to be something a little more "Eclectic" than the current PA "Prog-Folk" category would suggest. Only time will tell. As of now we have only a 5 song EP from which to base our opinions. But I can't help expecting great and modern things from this band in the future.

The price is very right. The songs are available free at the band's website!

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Afforested were formed in 2007 in Kent, UK, by two brothers, Alex and Jonathan Betts.Alex handles the drums, flutes, keys and whistles, while Jonathan is responsible for the acoustic guitars, bass, mandolin and vocals.The British duo recorded a short EP in 2009, entitled ''Wolf's Heads and Woodlanders'', and offered it as a free download through their bandcamp website.

This EP is quite short, only 15 minutes long divided into 5 mostly instrumental tracks, which are all absolutely fascinating, offering a nice mix of Folk Rock and keyboard-dominated Progressive Rock.The music of Afforested is full of dreamy nuances through the great interplays between keyboards, acoustic guitars and flutes, which are the dominant instruments.In these five short compositions the duo combines the delicacy of folklore soundscapes with the virtuosity of keyboard techniques and the sensitivity of flute sounds.The result is some highly energetic musicianship, deeply grounded in Progressive Music, and if you could imagine Graeme Taylor of GRYPHON and JETHRO TULL's Ian Anderson collaborating with Martin Orford of IQ, the result would be pretty much the same.

Excellent EP.Flashy, symphonic synthesizers meets the acoustic face of British Folk and the proposal of Afforested is extremely original.A band to keep an eye on.

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