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Dave Brons

Crossover Prog

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Dave Brons Not All Those Who Wander are Lost album cover
4.41 | 21 ratings | 2 reviews | 29% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2020

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Song of Illuvatar (4:56)
2. Eń (6:09)
3. Into the Perilous Realm (5:10)
4. Awakened by Starlight (6:19)
5. Under the Same Sun (5:02)
6. The Shire: A Long Expected Party (4:46)
7. The Pass of Caradhras (3:36)
8. A Prayer for the Fallen (2:11)
9. The Riders of Rohan (4:18)
10. Minas Morgul (4:30)
11. The Ring Bearers (6:56)
12. The Houses of Healing (3:50)
13. All the End of All Things (3:35)
14. White Shores and a Swift Sunrise (6:03)

Total Time 67:21

Line-up / Musicians

- Dave Brons (Celestial Fire) / Electric guitar, orchestration, arranging, and easy piano (7,8,9)
- John Biglands / Drums and cymbals, acoustic guitar ( 11)
- Daniel Day / Bass, low whistle, and classical guitar (5)
- Mark Swift / Piano and organ

- Dave Bainbridge (Iona, Celestial Fire) / Mixing, additional keyboards, electric guitar and percussion
- Sally Minnear (Celestial Fire) / Lady Galadriel narration, lead vocals, ethereal vocal looping
- Catherine Ashcroft / Uilleann pipes and low whistle and tin whistle (14)

- Maria Mullen and the Great Yorkshire Chorus / Choir and improvised vocal textures
- Jane Bryan / Flute, alto flute, piccolo
- Ian Brons / Cello
- Stephen Bradnum / Trombone, French horn, bass trombone, euphonium, tuba
- John Dey / Trumpets
- John Clay / Cornet
- David Hogan / Clarinet, soprano saxophone
- Frank Van Essen (Iona, Dave Bainbridge, Celestial Fire) / Violin, violas and the violin solo (5)
- Rich "Red" Davenport / Gandalf narration
- Jaiden Vai Brons / Vocals (9,11)
- Kai Rohan Brons / Frodo's narration (12)

Releases information

Format: CD, Digital
January 6, 2020

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
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DAVE BRONS Not All Those Who Wander are Lost ratings distribution

(21 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

DAVE BRONS Not All Those Who Wander are Lost reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Every year, there are a few surprising, out of the blue and frankly world-class prog releases from lesser-known artists or bands that really keeps the flame of discovery alight. The wretch of 2020 is no exception, as I had heard of guitarist Dave Brons on the "Celestial Fire Live in the UK" 2017 release from Dave Bainbridge, a thoroughly exceptional masterpiece in an audience setting. My expectations were not very focused but I caught myself looking up regularly with a huge grin of surprise and contentment, the very first listen, a rather rare event. "Not All those who Wander Are Lost" is a colossal monument to inspired Celtic-tinged prog-rock in the fine tradition of bands such as Iona, Colin Masson, The Morrigan, Dave Bainbridge solo etc..., a style I particularly love, as Irish/Scot and otherwise Celtic traditional music has an aura of melancholia that just cannot be denied, especially when blended with rock and prog tendencies. Most of the usual suspects are present to lend a hand or a lung, starting with Bainbridge who delights in mixing and playing keys and guitar. Sally Minnear of Celestial Fire sings brilliantly throughout, and Iona's Frank van Essen adds violin to a few tracks. Newcomers Catherine Ashcroft on Uillean pipes and various whistles, John Biglands on drums, bassist Daniel Day and pianist Mark Swift are all major contributors, as well as a large selection of woodwinds, brass, and flutes.

The theme is Middle Earth and Tolkien, probably the most overt prog influence of all, but fear not, this is not laden with endless narration (there are some wee bits here though) and maudlin orchestrations, as the tracks and arrangements pack quite a punch, verging at times on metallic riffs propelled by huge choir work, delicate piano motifs and lots of variety in the voice department (from spoken word, to whispers, to tranquil singing and finally out right belting). Dave Brons plays guitar with indisputable passion and elegance, putting his considerable talents on display, but the remainder of the band are no slouches, as the bass carves impressively, in sync with superb drumming and that ornate piano hitting all the emotive buttons. The biggest thrill on this recording and its number one asset is the unrelenting contrast between the gently reflective moments and the buildups to immeasurable symphonics that verge on bombast. Case in point: the achingly beautiful "Under the Same Sun" that starts out misty and serene, eventually evolving into sheer sonic magnificence, with a sizzling, over the top, guitar solo, a wild violin rant from Van Essen, dabs of pipes and whistles. All 14 pieces contribute to the whole much like a well-chaptered book, each one a mini jewel, tumbling forward at a prefect pace, keeping the listener transfixed and with bated breath. Yes, it can get "whole lot of Irish" with traditional swerves such as on pieces such as "Ea", "Into the Perilous Realm", "Awakened by Starlight" or "The Shire" but when Brons kicks in with a blistering lead, you know that your ears are quite satisfied! The thunderous choir work throughout, courtesy of Maria Mullen and the Yorkshire Chorus, adds considerably to the organic spirit of the music.

The soft moments are simply breathtaking as Mark Swift's majestic piano weaves a sorrowful path, such as on the mournful "A Prayer for the Fallen ", or the deft Brons acoustic guitar intro to "The Ring Bearers "before the piano and voice enter the fray, and the subsequent build up into an explosive expanse. The stunningly haunting piano reappears on "The House of Healing" before that morphs also into utter bravado. The feverish pieces are sensationally blitzed and desperate, such as on "Ea" with rapid-fire cannonades from all the soloists, mainly Brons who can rip with the best of them but kudos the Irish pipes as well, especially when the two get to duel as on the "The Riders of Rohan". On "Minas Morgul", the symphonics are cleverly crafty, solidly buoyed by enormous bass and drum support, almost a "Kashmir meets Carmina Burana" feel giving Brons the platform to blaze on guitar with Satriani-Vai-Holdsworth influenced licks.

The final two tracks really aim for a crescendo of emotions in consecrating the merits of this incredible recording, that covers the entire spectrum of sound and fury, the deliberately clever weaving of contrasts and styles. In perhaps typical fashion, the end comes with an anthemic, choir-infested farewell, as the glorious "White Shores and A Swift Sunrise" put this one ever so gently to bed. This album is absurdly entertaining, with an infinite sense of fairy tale magic, propelled by commitment, power and passion. No mush, no filler, no weak patching the blanks with needless notes. As such, this masterpiece is in my top 10 of 2020 releases, without the slightest hesitation.

5 Unearthed travellers

Latest members reviews

4 stars Dave Brons' latest solo album Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost is conceptually themed around the world and stories of Tolkien, from the song of Iluvatar to the end of LotR. While not a unique concept for a prog album by any means, Brons manages to nicely capture the unique atmosphere of the Middle ... (read more)

Report this review (#2432546) | Posted by Morsenator | Monday, July 27, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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