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Witchwood Litanies from the Woods album cover
3.77 | 54 ratings | 3 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2015

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Prelude / Liar (7:23)
2. A Place for the Sun (7:11)
3. Rainbow Highway (5:54)
4. The Golden King (6:24)
5. Shade of Grey (11:04)
6. The World Behind Your Eyes (5:43)
7. Farewell to the Ocean Boulevard (15:27)
8. Song of Freedom (9:31)
9. Handful of Stars (10:09)

Total Time 78:46

Line-up / Musicians

- Riccardo "Ricky" Dal Pane / lead vocals, backing vocals, electric guitar, slide guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, percussion
- Stefano "Steve" Olivi / Hammond C100, Leslie 760, Moog Voyager, piano
- Andrea Palli / drums, percussion
- Samuele Tesori / flute, harmonica
- Luca Celotti / bass

Releases information

CD-Digital on Jolly Roger Recrods

Thanks to rdtprog for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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WITCHWOOD Litanies from the Woods ratings distribution

(54 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(61%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

WITCHWOOD Litanies from the Woods reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by andrea
4 stars The Buttered Bacon Biscuits were a band from Faenza, a town located in an area called Romagna, that had been active from 2008 to 2013 with a style rooted in the seventies and consisting in a mix of psychedelia, hard rock and a pinch of progressive. They had a good live activity and in 2010 released a debut album entitled From The Solitary Woods that was distributed by the independent label Black Widow Records and got some good reviews but the band did not last enough for a follow up. After the band split up, in 2014 from their ashes came to life a new band called Witchwood, a quintet featuring three former members of the Buttered Bacon Biscuits, Riccardo Dal Pane (vocals, guitars, mandolin, percussion), Stefano Olivi (Hammond, piano, synth, Moog) and Andrea Palli (drums, percussion) along with Samuele Tesori (flute, harmonica) and Luca Celotti (bass). In 2015 this new band, with the help of some guests, released an interesting debut album on the independent label Jolly Roger Records, Litanies From The Woods, where they managed to mix hard rock, progressive, psychedelia and southern rock in a personal way adding fresh ideas to vintage sounds and obscure atmospheres borrowed from the past. Their love for bands such as Uriah Heep, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Hawkwind or Lynyrd Skynyrd is apparent but the songwriting is good and the overall sound is full of energy and passion. The result is a nice example of what now is called classic rock and in my opinion it is really worth listening to...

The opener "Prelude" is just a short electric guitar intro that leads to the caustic "Liar", a heartfelt complaint against a world where appearances are more important than real values and democracy is nothing but an illusion conjured up by cynical politicians, a world where the lies of the media hide the dirtiest sins and where dreams fill the graves...

On the following "A Place For The Sun" the music and lyrics evoke the cathartic power of music and invite you to live day by day to tackle the adversities of life, always looking for the hidden place in your soul where the sun always shines...

"Rainbow Highway" deals with the wish of freedom and adventure of a boy who grew up in a small town, surrounded by boredom and old traditions. The music and lyrics here evoke the dream of a life without rules, a wish of absolute freedom, a fantastic ride on the shoulders of a rainbow demon to feel the wind blowing free and wild all around... Hey boy, pick up your heart and run! Before you lose your soul...

The hypnotic, psychedelic "The Golden King" conjures up the image of a caravan coming from a distant planet, sailing through endless skies... Listen to the litanies for the mysterious Golden King and let him take you away for a ride to his palace to celebrate a strange Sabbath!

The following "Shade Of Grey" is a dark, haunting track evoking Gothic atmospheres and a disquieting creature from an hidden world moving through the woods. You can listen to the songs soaring from the woods as you get lost in a starry night...

Next comes the romantic ballad "The World Behind Your Eyes" that is dedicated to Laura, the lovely muse of lyricist and composer Riccardo Dal Pane. It leads to the long, complex instrumental "Farewell To The Ocean Boulevard" featuring many changes in rhythm and atmosphere, a real epic where the band showcase all their musicianship and creativity swinging from calm, relaxed acoustic passages to fiery electric rides and vice versa. A wonderful track!

"Song Of Freedom" is a celebration of the life on the road, the song of a travelling man in love with his sweet freedom. This nice mix of country rock, blues, hard rock and psychedelic dreams la easy rider leads to the long closer "Handful Of Stars", a beautiful suite divided into three parts that reminds me of the atmospheres of the Dream Cycle stories by H.P. Lovecraft and deals with haunting and dangerous dreams. On the first part, "The Gates Of Slumber" the music and lyrics conjure up the image of a dreamer lost in his room with floating planets all around while stars fill his mind and heart... He falls in a timeless abyss of dark dreams that the evocative music of next two instrumental parts, "Nox Erat..." (It was night) and "Epilogue: Litanies For A Starless Night", let your imagination free to build up...

On the whole, a very nice album! If you like bands such as Wicked Minds, I'm sure you will not be disappointed...

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars WITCHWOOD are a new band out of Italy playing a heavy, bluesy style of Progressive music. The harmonica is quite prominent along with the flute and we get a powerful vocalist that brings Classic Rock to mind. If you like BLACK BONZO, WICKED MINDS, URIAH HEEP or DEEP PURPLE you need to check these guys out. I really think that fellow Italians WICKED MINDS had to have been an influence. Heck they even had an album called "Witchflower".

Man this is a long record at just under 78 minutes. First up is "Prelude/ Liar" which opens with this repeated guitar melody before it kicks in heavily after 1 1/2 minutes, vocals follow. My favourite part of the song is the instrumental calm after 4 minutes with flute. Ripping guitar comes in a minute later as it kicks back in. A kick-ass start but i'm not a big fan of this one. The organ, flute and drums standout early on the next track called "A Place For The Sun". Harmonica follows then vocals. I'm not really digging this until it calms down before 3 1/2 minutes with strummed guitar and keyboards without vocals. Nice. Back to that powerful sound with vocals late to end it. "Rainbow Highway" has plenty of passionate vocals along with organ and guitar. Check out the guitar solo before 4 minutes that goes on and on along with some pleasant piano melodies.

"The Golden King" is a top two track for me. This is more like it! They tone things down some here with the keyboards and percussion standing out, even the vocals sound better as he scales back the passion(haha). My other top two is "Shade Of Grey" which opens with intricate guitar as reserved vocals join in. Female vocals help out on this one and we also get some mandolin and flute. It's starting to heat up before 6 minutes but it settles right back down, in fact it becomes even more pastoral. Flute to the fore then synths. "The World Behind Your Eyes" is a ballad with relaxed vocals until it kicks into gear after 2 minutes and these contrasts will continue. He actually sounds like Bon Jovi here.

"Farewell To The Ocean Boulavard" is the longest song at 15 1/2 minutes. Strummed guitar to start as the flute joins in then a full sound. A pleasant guitar solo arrives around 2 1/2 minutes in. Keyboards after 6 minutes come to the fore then organ as it stays relaxed. Flute and harmonica as well before the guitar starts to light it up around 11 1/2 minutes. A calm after 13 minutes with classical sounding guitar then it turns more powerful to the end. "Song Of Freedom" features mandolin and harmonica early on as the vocals join in as well. Some percussion too. It becomes more powerful 2 minutes in and contrasts will continue. An okay tune. "Handful Of Stars" has some grungy sounding guitar that I like as those expressive vocals join in. Some organ runs later then we get an instrumental section after 4 minutes to the end.

These guys are a talented band, and while the music here doesn't do a lot for me because of my tastes I applaud them for this ambitious album.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Too long ! Witchwood plunges us into the friendly atmosphere from the end of the 60s and the early 70s: a heavy blues rock, vaguely psychedelic. We find a little of the first Tull, Uriah Heep, Floyd, Cactus ... Those who appreciated the Swedish approach of Black Bonzo may be interested in Witchwo ... (read more)

Report this review (#2536211) | Posted by Muskrat | Sunday, April 18, 2021 | Review Permanlink

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