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Gandalf's Fist


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Gandalf's Fist The Clockwork Prologue album cover
3.87 | 77 ratings | 6 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 - Part I: The Thaw (37:15)
1. The Belly of the Earth (0:58)
2. An Expedition Amidst the Ice Burrows (1:22)
3. Wardens (4:32)
4. Badgerwhacked (2:03)
5. Solar Huntress (6:43)
6. Dirty Doyle's Surface Souvenirs (1:35)
7. Supplies for the Festivities (5:33)
8. Secrets, Traitors and a Smashing Set of Porcelain Ducks on Layby (1:48)
9. Blackening (8:46)
10. Hall of the Badger King (3:55)

CD 2 - Part II: The Pieces Of Our Time (59:56)
11. Sun Sickness (1:58)
12. Menders of Devices (6:14)
13. The Clokkemaker (12:52)
14. A Shortcut Across a Deranged Steam Conveyor (2:13)
15. The Waxwork Downs (4:27)
16. The Sovereign Airship Station (5:16)
17. Leader of Men (8:08)
18. Wheels in Motion (3:12)
19. The Lamplighter (Overture) (15:36)

Total Time 97:11

Line-up / Musicians

- Keri Farish / vocals (The Clokkemaker and her all-seeing spyglasses), voice actor (The Clokkemaker / Washer Ethel)
- Dean Marsh / guitars, synth programming, mandolin, octave mandola, bass, vocals (The Good People of Cogtopolis), writer (story & script), producer
- Ben Bell / Hammond, synths, fretless bass, Nashville guitar, chorus vocals (The Choir of Doom), voice actor (The Deranged Steam-Conveyor)
- Chris Ewen / bass
- Stefan Hepe / drums, percussion
- Luke Severn / tubular bells, goose flute, vocals (Nightkeepers)

- William Stewart / violins
- Melissa Hollick / vocals (Eve)
- Mark Benton / voice actor (King Dahks / City Announcer / City Official and Distant Expulsions of the Lamplighter)
- Tim Munro / voice actor (The Tinker)
- Alicia Marsh / voice actor (Eve / various market traders)
- Bill Fellows / voice actor (Dirty Doyle / Irontooth / Nightkeeper Spy)
- Paul Kavanagh / voice actor (The Primarch)
- Christopher Ewen / voice actor (The Boy)
- Rafferty Marsh / voice actor (An urchin at the Weasel Pie Stall)

Releases information

2-CD extension of the original story begun in 2016's "The Clockwork Fable"

Artwork: based on Thomas Huth art

2CD Nightkeeper Productions ‎- NKP004 (2019, UK)

Digital album

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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GANDALF'S FIST The Clockwork Prologue ratings distribution

(77 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

GANDALF'S FIST The Clockwork Prologue reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
3 stars Okay, I'm already aware of the predecessor album, that would be 'The Clockwork Fable', which was released in 2016. Though yet, finally, I've managed to schedule enough time, definitely required when trying to delve into their approach. Led by Luke Severn (vocals) and multi-instrumentalist Dean Marsh right from the beginning, GANDALF'S FIST saw diverse musicians participating during recent years. When it comes to the core nowadays, besides newcomer Ben Bell (keyboards), drummer Stefan Hepe and Chris Ewen (bass) are involved again. The strategy is similar to bands like, let's say Seven Steps To The Green Door, RPWL or Oscillazioni Alchemico Kreative for example. That means, broadly speaking, to compose well-elaborated rock songs based on an ambitious storytelling. And so the result can be seen as a rock opera in some way, visually appropriately expressed of course when taking action live on the stage. This will feature diverse theater sceneries, masks, costumes, and additional actors.

The new album ties on the forerunner, quasi as an extension, or a new level if you will, which finally augments the 'Clockwork' saga to an epic piece of five parts in total. The whole issue takes place somewhere in the underground, beneath the surface, the city of Cogtopolis, made of caverns and tunnels. A conceptual rollercoaster, one can say. The band have installed an extra story page, if you are interested in getting closer. That also includes an alternative alphabet(!), important to know, if you should wonder about that conglomeration of mysterious letters or symbols within the booklet. As for the protagonists, the Clokkemaker is new to the fold here, represented by singer Keri Farish. And so, quite naturally, the band must be focussed on the vocals, respectively spoken word duties. Hence this album is preferably dedicated to prog fans who are feeling safe overall when it comes to the English language.

Technically seen there's nothing left to be desired. The music is made of accessible charming neo prog and folk tinged impressions, here and there it's even touching mainstream territories. Oftenly alternating with narrative interludes, partially extended, though really sublime anyhow. When it comes to the album's Part I (The Thaw) I would emphasize the song Blackening first and foremost, which sees them underway on heavier paths. An exceptional track, including various moods and a chorus which definitely is inviting to sing-along. Part II (The Pieces Of Our Time) then shines with the expanded The Lamplighter as the grand finale. This album matters a proper work again, they certainly will have invested hundreds of hours. For one or two it may drag on at times, a designated progressive rock opera fan though will disagree immediately, I'm sure. 3.5 stars on the PA scale.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars It's time to head back to Cogtopolis, for a double CD set which is being promoted by the band as an 'expansion pack' to the last album, the triple CD 'The Clockwork Fable'. As before, I find myself comparing this to both Hibernal and Clive Nolan, as what we have here is much more than just a musical release, as the words and story are intertwined with the music. This is a theatrical presentation, with different people playing their part, and I found myself thinking that there must surely be a book in here somewhere as the storyline is complex, convoluted, and with so much depth that there is certainly enough framework for it to work on that level as well. Regarding the rationale behind this, Gandalf's Fist frontman, Dean Marsh commented: 'I've loved playing video games since the 80's and the idea of creating a musical expansion-pack, in the same way game manufactures introduce new levels and new quests has been an undertaking we've all enjoyed immensely. It's been a great opportunity to finish all the wonderful ideas we couldn't even fit into a triple album in 2016 as well as been a fantastic way of collaborating on new material with our own 'upgraded' line-up with Ben and Keri. The whole thing sounds fantastic and without question has some of our finest songs to date!' Ben is Ben Bell (Broken Parachute) on keyboards, bass, guitar and various vocal efforts (it isn't often that someone can be credited with being a deranged steam conveyor) and singer Keri Farish.

Musically this is an amalgam of folk, prog, rock and theatre, with violin making a welcome presence here, acoustic guitars there, but it is more about having music which is right for whatever theme is being portrayed as opposed to attempting to stick within one particular area. It is almost impossible to pick between the songs and the narrative, as they are closely interlinked, yet both are capable of working without the other. It would be interesting indeed to hear the complete five CD set cut so that the songs were taken away from the music and one could play the story on its own, or the songs. I have only one problem with the album, and that is whenever I play it I get dragged into Cogtopolis, so much so that I need to put aside 97 minutes of concentration each time I want to listen to it. I didn't think Gandalf's Fist would again be able to match the journey they put me through last time, but they have. This isn't a progressive rock album in its normal sense, but possibly it is in its truest sense as the band refuse to be bound by the usual thoughts of what an album should be comprised of. The different styles and melodies are bound by the storyline, which in turn is brought to life by the music in a wonderful symbiotic relationship. Superb.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I first came across this band when they released Forest of Fey which featured a surprising number of well known guest musicians like John Mitchell and Clive Nolan. Since then they've release a couple of new albums and also rerecorded and reissued some old ones. The made their biggest splash so far w ... (read more)

Report this review (#2278361) | Posted by LittleLotti | Wednesday, November 6, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well well well... it took me a few months to finally find the time to listen to this one, and its successor "The Clockwork Fable" (which was released three years ago) in a row. What the lads (and the lass) do here is going the full Star Wars way - First, the Main "Movies", then the Prequels (althoug ... (read more)

Report this review (#2272674) | Posted by MrHaddington | Wednesday, October 23, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Review # 107. A couple of years ago, Gandalf's Fist surprised everybody with the release of the excellent, but kind of ambitious, The Clockwork Fable. It was a really interesting triple concept album that introduced us to the underground city of Cogtopolis and its bizarre inhabitants. That albu ... (read more)

Report this review (#2234454) | Posted by The Jester | Tuesday, July 2, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I feel utterly compelled to write a review for the latest Album from Gandalf's fist for a number of reasons. Firstly, there seem to be few and far between here and I can only conclude from this that this band is criminally underappreciated. Secondly, befitting to this band the album stands ... (read more)

Report this review (#2234228) | Posted by ProggyDave | Monday, July 1, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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