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The Chronicles of Father Robin

Symphonic Prog

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The Chronicles of Father Robin The Songs & Tales of Airoea Book 2: Ocean Traveller (Metamorphosis) album cover
3.65 | 70 ratings | 7 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2023

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Over Westwinds (3:59)
2. Orias & the Underwater City (8:37)
3. Ocean Traveller (6:22)
4. Lady of Waves (5:38)
5. Green Refreshments (7:09)
6. The Grand Reef (7:25)

Total Time 39:10

Line-up / Musicians

- Andreas Wettergreen Strømman Prestmo / vocals, guitars, bass, synth, organ, glockenspiel, percussion
- Henrik Harmer / drums & percussion, synth, backing vocals
- Regin Meyer / flute, organ, piano, backing vocals
- Jon Andre Nilsen / bass, backing vocals
- Thomas Hagen Kaldhol / guitars, mandolin, electronics & sound effects, backing vocals
- Aleksandra Morozova / vocals

- Lars Fredrik Frøislie / keyboards, organ, Mellotron, piano, synth
- Kristoffer Momrak / synth
- Håkon Oftung / organ, clavinet, Mellotron, strings, electric piano, synth

Releases information

Label: Karisma Records / Old Oak Records
Format: Vinyl, CD, Digital
December 8, 2023

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy THE CHRONICLES OF FATHER ROBIN The Songs & Tales of Airoea Book 2: Ocean Traveller (Metamorphosis) Music

THE CHRONICLES OF FATHER ROBIN The Songs & Tales of Airoea Book 2: Ocean Traveller (Metamorphosis) ratings distribution

(70 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE CHRONICLES OF FATHER ROBIN The Songs & Tales of Airoea Book 2: Ocean Traveller (Metamorphosis) reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This three-part epic musical tale from Wobbler frontman Andreas Wettergreen Prestmo has been certainly talked about in the progressive press with a fair amount of excited trepidation, verging perhaps on hype but surely a most deserving one, when taken into the proper context. A plan was put in place to unleash all three chapters separately and apace is quite an undertaking, as its is obvious that the entire Chronicle was pretty much one long and fruitful session. This second chapter was recently released in early December 2023, and is the object of this review, as I had already enjoyed the Volume 1 and eagerly await the March 2024 arrival of Volume 3. Steering away from classic symphonic prog like Yes best expressed by Wobbler, the focus here is initially on a more medieval/pastoral take, very much in the Scandinavian tradition, a fascinating style that has a proven track record over the decades with illustrious recordings by groups such as early White Willow, Shine Dion, Nordagust and more recently, Tirill Mohn, Elds Mark, Jordsjo, Tusmorke, among many others. As befits a sonic travelogue, the album takes on a variety of horizons, with obvious winks and nods to past progressive greats, much to the adventurous listener's pleasure.

Initialized by a serenely calm lamentation, "Over Westerwinds" sets the overall tone with seductive singing, like a veneration of subtlety and tone, drenched in fragility and innocence. Voices, flute and echoing organ create an almost divine experience. The phenomenal beauty of "Orias & the Underwater City" hits you immediately with a melancholic vocal elegance that fits perfectly with the winterly vista emanating from my window, like a soft carpet of white snow. Laced with aquatic electronic pulsation, gentle droplets of liquid splendour that convey an eternity of images, the ambient playfulness always apparent in the arrangement. Fantastic track!

Hinting at a classic Gentle Giant sound, both vocally as well as instrumentally, "Ocean Traveller" could have been heard, stuck between Gargantua, Panurge and Pantagruel, performed by a venerated troubadour at a torch-lit banquet with hydromel goblets filled to the brim, while spinning roasted fowl aromatize the room. Ray must be grinning from above. Conjuring up images of haunting sirens, "Lady of Waves" sounds more like a prototypical sea shanty sung by sailors plying the North Atlantic, with the added detail of rather frisky guitar riffs skirting the sonic whitecaps, veering to the starboard at a moments notice, bouncing around at the mercy of Poseidon's whim. Speaking of Poseidon, Crimson adornments meet "Green Refreshments" head on, islands where a twirling flute, an insistent voice and more of the gritty Frippoid guitar coalesce in seeming manic anarchy, yet there is an overt discipline to the chaos, as the bass gallops along for the ride, mellotron cascades not lagging too far behind. Gnidrolog also comes to mind. The crest is reached with "The Grand Reef", a tumultuous celebration of inflamed passions expressed through a kaleidoscope of instruments as well as Prestmo's deliriously active voice, a flute led mid-section verging on psychedelic bliss, brought inexorably to an eruptive climax as If Krakatoa had once again exploded.

The six tracks seem to all flow from the same breathtaking fjord, densely wooded and craggy rocked terrain that seemingly can withstand the natural hazards on Northern climate. Drawing up from a deep well of progressive rock inspiration, this is a dreamier option than the more established names listed above, but I have a feeling that the combined 3 volumes make up a one-of-a-kind adventure, created for those fans looking for a musical time travel to a completely different place than whatever the current scene chooses to spew. That, in itself, is well worth the interest and er...the hype.

4.5 Drakkar trios

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Norwegian celebration of the past continues.

1. "Over Westwinds" (3:59) a very complex vocal weave in which the singers quite often (and quite surprisingly) feel/sound quite pitchy--as if they really aren't skilled enough pull it off. Perhaps they shouldn't have. Kerry Minnear and the GG vocalists might have been able to do it. (8.66667/10)

2. "Orias & the Underwater City" (8:37) there is so much of the early WOBBLER sound here--especially in the vocal melodies and arrangements--yet the music is surprisingly sparse and simple. Kind of hard to accept/tolerate the old 1970s drum machine and ancient synth/Wurlitzer organ sounds that take over at 4:45. The Underwater City must be from The Buggles' lost soundtrack from the 1964 marionette television show, Stingray or, later, The Thunderbirds. Weird. (17.33333/20)

3. "Ocean Traveller" (6:22) another surprisingly simple song construct that reminds me, for the first minute, of some HARRY NILSSON music and then, after the one-minute mark, some early (and still simple--demo-like) YES harmony vocals. It's cute, quaint, and likable but hardly cutting edge. Unfortunately, the YES-imitation hardly works (the music is just too simplistic; Yes were never this rudimentary). Plus, the lyrics are a bit silly. (8.4/10)

4. "Lady of Waves" (5:38) more exceedingly simple instrumental work provides the opening and then foundation for the singing part of this one. The lyrics again are simple and almost silly: dancing and laughing "tenderly." (?!?!?) The meaty fifth minute offers some more serious instrumental action but never on the level of the great Wobbler stuff. (8.5/10)

5. "Green Refreshments" (7:09) gentle flute, bass, and two picked guitar chords precede a burst into Mellotron-supported "Knife"dom before returning to the bucolic opening theme. This cycle repeats twice before the music skirts down a more open, straightforward path of anachronistic prog rock (sound palettes from 1967-69)--and then some more equally ancient side-paths from there (think old MOODY BLUES, old JETHRO TULL, old YARDBIRDS, old BLACK SABBATH). (13/15)

6. "The Grand Reef" (7:25) opens with a very muddy/murky dynamic JETHRO TULL imitation, alternating for a couple rounds with a brief little more gentle prog folk dittie until the song finally bursts into full form with a very WOBBLER Rites at Dawn sound and feel. The fifth minute goes psychedelic with flutes, synths, guitars all swirling like a continuous roundabout--this particular motif playing out for a good two minutes before coming back to the original JTULL motif and then finishing with the WOBBLER Rites at Dawn vocal motif. Not bad! I wish there were more like this one. (13.25/15)

Total Time 39:10

Replication of the old sounds and styles of the hallowed "Classic Era" is all well and good--it feels good to hear it (and to recognize it)--and it is quite admirable to see a band accomplish such replication/imitation with such skill and fullness--but, for me, what keeps me interested in continuing the deepening and broadening my prog awareness is the artistic exploration of the new: it is the progression of musical forms that artists can (and, I think should) be focused on. This is not that kind of album. The subject matter of the album's "ocean traveller" concept are quite simplistic, even if you consider that this could be a product of some kind of psychedelic trip or communal "collective consciousness" event.

B-/3.5 stars; a fair contribution of retro prog to any "prog origins"-loving music lover but nothing much to write home about if you're looking for something to push the envelopes of new and innovative music.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars "Book II" is decidedly more pastoral than "Book I" to a fault in my opinion. It really isn't until the final two seven minute tracks that I feel they offer something worthy of being on "Book I". So not a 4 star album by a long shot, those first four tracks just don't do much for me at all. By the way the same lineup as the debut other than that guest vocalist who isn't back. They try some new things here which in my opinion just don't work.

"Over Westwinds" is such a mellow tune with a medieval vibe with those wordless vocals and strummed guitar. It's better when the flute arrives later on and some organ late to end it but not a good start. "Orias & The Underwater City" opens with atmosphere and water sounds, flute and synths too. Vocals at 1 1/2 minutes are almost mono-toned and at 4 minutes I'm thinking "it's still like this?" This is where someone says careful what you wish for because fake beats kick in with keyboard sounds I really don't like before 5 minutes. Catchy but... that's two tracks that went over my head but wait there's "Ocean Traveller" which I will not ever hear again. Too catchy with beats that imply we are on a trip much like CAMEL and GAZPACHO have done. Kind of cool but I don't like it.

"Lady Of Waves" is another song that just doesn't do much for me but we do get some energy here and for me this is the best track yet. The final two tunes are give us a strong ending at least with "Green Refreshments" and "The Grand Reef" but even the latter starts out like a jig before a quick calm and change thankfully. I don't know I just have trouble relating to this record. Love the flute and heavier sound on "Green Refreshments" some good contrasts too. The flute also stands out on the closer along with the vocals for maybe the first time on the album.

I am looking forward to "Book III" it is in the mail apparently but this one is more for fans of concept albums and pastoral music.

Review by siLLy puPPy
3 stars Supergroup THE CHRONICLES OF FATHER ROBIN is made up of members from Wobbler, That Samuel Jackson Five, Tusmørke and Jordsjø and features classic prog styles from the classic 70s as well as the Scandinavian revivalists of the 1990s. Salvaging material from a band called Fangorn that never took off during its time, this band has resurrected the long lost material and brought them to light in the modern world. The second chapter in THE SONGS & TALES OF AIOEA trilogy, BOOK 2 follows in the footsteps of its predecessor of a lengthy tale that is set over the course of three album releases.

While "Book 1" focused on the landscapes of the fantasy land AIROEA, BOOK 2 on the other hand focuses on the underwater city of Oriaseleah and the Sea of Ayouhr. Thematically continuing the storyline of a classic prog styled fairytale, musically BOOK 2 takes on a more pastoral dreamy disposition. While still implementing the diverse 70s throwback sounds of the flute, mellotron, glockenspiel and keyboard workouts in the style of classic Yes and modern Wobbler and fortified with the symphonic and folky aspects of classic Genesis, THE CHRONICLES OF FATHER ROBIN slows thing down a bit with a much mellower second release that while not bereft of proggy workouts and more upbeat moments, certainly does seem like a dreamier ethereal underwater experience than the first album.

Comprising six tracks, BOOK 2 runs at about 39 minutes and feels like a traditional classic prog album of the 1970s in many ways, even more so than the predecessor which featured more heavier passages reminding of 90s Anglagard, Anekdoten and Landberk. Through the band's entirely what is most widely implemented is a dreamy folk style with lush acoustic guitars and references not only to classic Yes but Wobbler due to the fact lead singer Andreas Wettergreen Strømman Prestmo fronts that band. Overall the music just isn't as varied and the songwriting suffers a bit on this one as well. It seems that on BOOK 2 the ideas are stretched a bit more thin and therefore start to fall apart midway through the album's run. The musicians are still on the top of their game and perform with exquisite precision but overall this one seems like a step down from its predecessor.

Another thing that leaves me perplexed is that the music is supposed to represent the world of water yet doesn't really feel like water. The folky aspects offer a more seductive effect but the more rockin' passages feel out of place almost as if they were forced. Add to that the album just doesn't feel as original this time around as the whiff of Yes, Wobbler and Genesis has become a fully pungent stench. Not that it's a horrible thing but the creativity level has certainly diminished and it may have served the project more if the ideas were more even dispersed. It almost sounds like the ideas of Fangorn were designed for a single album and THE CHRONICLES OF FATHER ROBIN is trying to dilute the original intent by stretching it into many similar tracks on this BOOK 2 at least often outwear their welcome.

The ease and grace of the debut portended that a second chapter would follow suit and BOOK 2 definitely has more than an engaging moment or two but instead of just sitting back and thinking how fun the album was like the debut, on this one i kept finding myself questioning various compositional moves and why they decided to sound too MUCH like Yes or Wobbler here and there. Certainly a decent album that will appeal to many who are more into the retro scene than i am but to my ears at least a noticeable decline in quality control principally in the songwriting and the ability to keep the stylistic shifts humming along in undetectable way. Decent but i prefer the first album much better and agree with everyone who says this one is too pastoral for its own good.

Latest members reviews

3 stars 1. Over Westwinds ethereal mass atmosphere, acoustic, flute, voice from above, minimalist intro, well why not 2. Orias & the Underwater City electro bottom with bubbles now; vocal liturgy on a basic 70's tune from KING CRIMSON; you have to wait halfway to get the electro sound of OMD like 'Enola ... (read more)

Report this review (#2983735) | Posted by alainPP | Thursday, January 18, 2024 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I went over the three-decade background of this band in my review of Book 1, and I mentioned that I hoped the three planned installments would have distinct characters. Where Book 1 covered the lands of Airoea'hills, valleys, forests, and so on'Book 2 focuses on the waterways of this realm. There is ... (read more)

Report this review (#2983491) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Wednesday, January 17, 2024 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Another excellent album that came out yesterday! Second album of the series, and I thought it would be similar to book 1, but... it has a very different vibe. These guys are awesome. The first track "Over Westwinds" transports you into a sacred medieval song, very calm and contemplative. "O ... (read more)

Report this review (#2972767) | Posted by progrockeveryday | Saturday, December 9, 2023 | Review Permanlink

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