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GANDALF'S FIST

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Gandalf's Fist picture
Gandalf's Fist biography
UK act GANDALF'S FIST is the creative vehicle of duo Luke Severn and Dean Marsh, with varying musicians, compatriots and otherwise like-minded people affecting the proceedings apparently. And while their MySpace site inform that they currently reside in Mordor, Cumbria in England is the home turf of this act. Which may or may not be a contradiction in terms or a specification of the former, depending on point of view.

After five years of wandering to and from the studio and the literary heritage of good, old Tolkien, this creative duo decided it was time to fire up their respective creative engines, and set them to work producing material. The result of this process appeared in the shape of a concept album: The Master and the Monkey.

With their creative enginges still humming in harmony, another project was kicked off right away. And in 2011 Gandalf's Fist had their sophomore production ready, this one called Road to Darkness. What the future holds in store for this creative duo, apart from flogging ridicilous amounts of ale and indulging themselves in Tolkien's fantastic universe yet again, remains to be seen. If enough people like what they have done and perhaps even consider sending some money their way, they may be able to finance even more music in the future. Perhaps even a few ales to go, for recharging their batteries after long, draining studio sessions.

Gandalf's Fist official website

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Road to DarknessRoad to Darkness
Gandalf's Fist 2012
Audio CD$8.98
$20.72 (used)
A Day in the Life of a Universal WandererA Day in the Life of a Universal Wanderer
Gandalf's Fist 2013
Audio CD$9.98
From a Point of ExistenceFrom a Point of Existence
Gandalf's Fist 2012
Audio CD$8.98
The Master and the MonkeyThe Master and the Monkey
Gandalf's Fist 2011
Audio CD$10.98
A Forest of FeyA Forest of Fey
Import
Gandalf's Fist 2014
Audio CD$9.98
$24.25 (used)
A Day in the Life of a Universal Wanderer by Gandalf's FistA Day in the Life of a Universal Wanderer by Gandalf's Fist
Gandalf's Fist
Audio CD$34.96
From a Point of Existence by Gandalf's FistFrom a Point of Existence by Gandalf's Fist
Gandalf's Fist
Audio CD$32.96
The Master and the Monkey by Gandalf's Fist (2011-02-11)The Master and the Monkey by Gandalf's Fist (2011-02-11)
Gandalf's Fist
Audio CD$27.38
Road to Darkness by Gandalf's Fist (2012-01-16)Road to Darkness by Gandalf's Fist (2012-01-16)
Gandalf's Fist
Audio CD$25.38
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GANDALF'S FIST discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

GANDALF'S FIST top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.33 | 33 ratings
The Master And The Monkey
2010
3.79 | 71 ratings
Road To Darkness
2011
3.68 | 60 ratings
From A Point Of Existence
2012
3.95 | 100 ratings
A Day In The Life Of A Universal Wanderer
2013
3.91 | 141 ratings
A Forest of Fey
2014
3.98 | 64 ratings
The Clockwork Fable
2016

GANDALF'S FIST Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GANDALF'S FIST Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

GANDALF'S FIST Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.76 | 8 ratings
Uprooted
2015

GANDALF'S FIST Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 9 ratings
Emerald Eyes
2011
3.56 | 9 ratings
Stakes At Low Tide
2011
4.28 | 19 ratings
Songs From The Solway
2011
3.43 | 16 ratings
The Wizard's Study
2011
2.17 | 16 ratings
There and Back Again
2012
4.18 | 11 ratings
The Wizard's Study II: Balrog Boogaloo
2012
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Snows They Melt the Soonest
2014
5.00 | 3 ratings
Live From A Post-Apocalyptic Powercut
2015
4.67 | 3 ratings
The First Lamplighter (Memories of Nuclear Snow)
2015

GANDALF'S FIST Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Clockwork Fable by GANDALF'S FIST album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.98 | 64 ratings

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The Clockwork Fable
Gandalf's Fist Neo-Prog

Review by Gotrek1966

4 stars I think the boys of Gandalf's Fist may have outdone themselves with their latest musical adventure in 'The Clockwork Fable'. After releasing their 2014 musical adventure album 'A Forest of Fey' I wandered how they would be able to top it, a double CD, best of Gandalf's Fist or maybe a live EP? No, instead a 3CD epic story told through actors and songs.

Most of the reviews pretty well sum up this beast of a 3 CD musical extravaganza, and with it Gandalf's Fist has once again shown the world how much talent and soul they throw into their work.

Having a 3 CD album that goes for just over three hours may seem a bit of overkill but with The Clockwork Fable it works just fine. From the introduction you get involved in the story line straight away and continue to be intrigued all the way to the end. Yes you can skip the spoken parts and just listen to the music, but in my opinion you would be very easily lost on what the album is about. Both spoken and musical pieces fit together extremely well with professional actors really adding depth to the storyline and you can feel how much enjoyment they have in being a part of this album.

The music in itself shows just how much they have developed over the years musically with each song showcasing different styles of music and the influences of other bands and genres on the Fists members that have made Gandalf's Fist into a band well worth listening to.

It is hard for me to pick a favourite song as they are all excellent pieces of work, but ones that really stand out for me are ' The Great Cog' with its brilliant use of organ work (reminds me of Deep Purple), 'Fight for the light' hints of the great Iron Maiden influence with guitar riffs and 'Lamplighter (parts XIV-XV)'.

'At the end of the aperture' is a classic rock performance with 'Eves Song' once again showcase's the vocal talents of Melissa Hollick with beautiful soft tones and yet a powerful strong voice.

With its incredible artwork and classic Gandalf's Fist sound punctured with powerful rock riffs this is an album that most definitely would do well in any music collection. If you don't own it I strongly suggest you get your hands on a copy.

 The Clockwork Fable by GANDALF'S FIST album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.98 | 64 ratings

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The Clockwork Fable
Gandalf's Fist Neo-Prog

Review by LittleLotti

5 stars Whoa! That could sum up the overall reaction I had after listening to "The Clockwork fable" for the first time. Since the band teased some bits and pieces from the musical side of the album on their website (in form of a 10 minute medley), I somehow thought I knew what to expect, but the final result really overtops the medley by far. I don't even know where to begin...

The story (whose background is expertly shared on the extra website (clockworkfable.com) with really astounding graphics and effects on it) is carried forward by some expertly written and "acted" radio-play bits which remind me of "War of the Worlds" from back in the days. Recorded with the help of some really famous actors, like Mark Benton, Tim Munro, Bill Fellows, Paul Kavanagh, Paul Barnhill, Zach Galligan (Billie Peltzer in Gremlins), with the bandmembers filling the ranks. Those sections really drag you deep into the story, and makes you wonder what happens next in this crazed world of Cogtopolis.

These radio-play sections are separated to the songs by putting them on extra tracks, you can - if you ever have enough of the dialogues in future spins of this album - just put all songs on a playlist (every even tracknumber is a song) and still have about 2 hours of excellent music.

On the music side, you get really long epics, which - astonishingly (see what I did there?) never get boring. The first Lamplighter part moves so smoothly, you really don't notice that you actually listened to 8 minutes of great music the first time you're looking at the duration bar. Plus, I somehow begin to whistle melodies from the songs at various places when I'm NOT actually listening to it, and I wonder where I heard those melodies. That really speaks volumes in my books...

I'd say CD 2 (or Act II, as they call it) is my favourite, because there you have a perfect mixture of Progressive Rock, Folk and a tad of metal on a harder edge or two. Every CD (or Act) has a certain "feel" to it, or a musical style it leans towards, with the last CD being the "hardest" (in lack of better words for it) style. Lots of Iron Maiden influences to be found there, but not copied at all, no - some of the songs sound as if someone discovered a long-lost Maiden album in the attic. Influenced by Maiden? Yes. Just copying? No way! It still is Gandalf's Fist, and it is their finest work so far.

After several spins, I give this one a 5 stars rating, because as of now, it can't really get any better than this. This is Gandalf's Fist at their peak. I wonder if they can top that... but until their next release, there's a lot of music to digest on this one first, with a very well deserved highest rating possible.

 The Clockwork Fable by GANDALF'S FIST album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.98 | 64 ratings

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The Clockwork Fable
Gandalf's Fist Neo-Prog

Review by The Jester

4 stars Gandalf's Fist is centered around 2 very creative persons; Luke Severn and Dean Marsh, plus a big variety of musicians that they have been using for the needs of the recordings of their albums. I learned about Gandalf's Fist 2 years ago, with the release of their previous album 'A Forest of Fey'. In these 2 years, I added in my collection 2-3 of their albums, and I was lucky enough to 'meet' with their drummer Stefan Hepe. Further than that, I had the pleasure to have them as guests in my radio show 'Prog & Roll' a few months ago and we had lots of fun altogether. (As it seems we will have them as 'guests' again after a month or so, in order to make something like a small 'presentation' for this album). When I was informed by Stefan Hepe about this triple new album of theirs, I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical at first. It sounded like a very ambitious piece of work and I had no idea how the final outcome will sound like. The Clockwork Fable was officially released just a few days ago and I must admit that it is really unique and superb! The CD comes in a wonderful triple Digi-pack package, including a huge amount of information regarding the story of the album. I can't even start to imagine how many hours they spent over this project and the story-building. But the least I can do is to congratulate them for their efforts! The Clockwork Fable is a triple concept album, which lasts for almost 3 hours. The main story behind it is a really interesting one, and the very detailed booklet really helps a lot with the information that includes. It is kind of a 'theatrical' album I dare say, since there are a lot of storytelling pieces included, which are actually ALL the even numbers. 1,3,5,7 and so on' I found this fact very interesting and unique to be honest. That way, not only you get to know the story as it evolves, but also creates a 'bond' between the songs. As for the songs, well' It is very difficult for me to start mentioning the songs separately, since I consider them as small parts of a bigger project. I will only mention some of the album's finest moments, which are: Shadowborn, The Lamplighter (Parts I ' XIII), Eve's song, At the sign of the Aperture and many more. There are many guest musicians participating here, with the biggest names being the ones of Arjen Lucassen and Blaze Bayley (ex-Iron Maiden). There is no reason to continue writing, because it is impossible to understand what I'm talking about, if you don't listen to the album by yourselves. Concluding this, I would like to congratulate the guys of Gandalf's Fist one more, and say that The Clockwork Fable already occupied one position in my yearly Top-10 album list. As for my rating, hmmm, this is tough. I usually don't give 5 stars, but only on very few occasions. On the other hand 4 stars seems little for this album. So, I will rate it with 4.5 stars. Give it a try, you will not regret it! Highly Recommended!

 The Clockwork Fable by GANDALF'S FIST album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.98 | 64 ratings

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The Clockwork Fable
Gandalf's Fist Neo-Prog

Review by Kevman28

4 stars When I first discovered that Gandalf's Fist were releasing a 3cd album, I was expecting it to be like a pint of watered down beer at a cheap all-inclusive hotel. Then I read on their website that it will be a whole concept piece with established actors lending their skills to turn it into a whole story piece. I didn't know what to think of this. I enjoy their music and do not want to be distracted from it, but on the other hand it sounds like such a bold and potentially career-forming decision. If it's done well it could catapult the Fist into the limelight just by extravagance and intrigue alone. Prog fans often bang on about length of songs and progressive ideas, so this should be almost 'prog porn' to some. So I have listened to the album three times now from start to finish, and admit that on first listen the spoken passages were nothing but an irritant. That was a mixture of the initial realisation that I might have to spend my time repeatedly skipping tracks, and the fact that I was sitting in my lounge with headphones on, the tv on, and midway through playing Guild Wars 2 on the laptop.

My second attempt was in the correct environment. Me, the car, and a 4hr round trip on a business trip to Oxford. What a difference it made, as this is an album that you need to concentrate on. You would not watch tv with the radio on right? (Ok so I did once to get better match commentry on Talksport!). I will not go into a track by track review because others will do it and quite frankly I can't be bothered - but overall I found this album addictive, enjoyable, and a real pleasure to listen to from start to finish. Ok so there are some parts that I would consider weaker, but I will not say what bits because I believe that is purely down to my personal tastes rather than the quality of the music. The story is mostly very engaging, and takes turns with the music. In stark contrast to my first hearing, I found myself looking forward to the next installment as it progressed! Let's face it, when you get fed up with the storyline it is easy these days to de-select the spoken tracks.

Musically it is very Gandalf's Fist. It does not move away from their previous albums in any major way, and I still find myself wondering what these guys would achieve if they had money to throw at a top producer. The songwriting skills and musicianship is clear to see, yet there are still plenty of rough edges. The strange thing is, I think I like them just as they are. None of their albums are likely to go platinum any time soon, but there is something about this band that really is unique. They use familiar prog sounds, but somehow sound so different to anything else and are instantly recognisable.

Great album. Great packaging. Massive idea. I bet they had fun writing and recording it and that's where the real artistry shines through. What will they release next? A 4cd album? A 1 track EP containing a 78 minute song? Who knows, but it is sure to be excellently executed.

 The Clockwork Fable by GANDALF'S FIST album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.98 | 64 ratings

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The Clockwork Fable
Gandalf's Fist Neo-Prog

Review by Miss Anthropia

5 stars Since I have really enjoyed "A Forest of Fey" back in 2014, I was curious about the new Gandalf's Fist album, especially after checking out the website they set up for "The Clockwork Fable" in order to introduce the entire concept and to provide detailed background information on the story they came up with. A civilisation under the surface of the Earth, the servants of darkness against those to try to find their way back into the light... It was clear right from the start that this was going to be something special.

I got my Digi-Pak a couple of days ago, it's beautifully designed and came with a signed card and a guitar plectrum with a symbol on it that can also be found on the website mentioned above. Very nice! Three CDs, three acts, more than three hours of playing time... very obvious that this is anything else but an ordinary prog album. "A Forest of Fey" was great, but this one's better - well, maybe "better" is not the right word, to say "it's different" would be more appropriate. "The Clockwork Fable" is more like a radio play; between the songs, the entire story is told by professional actors they hired for the job. I have to admit I was a little sceptical when I read about the spoken parts at first, but after a few minutes of listening it became obvious that the concept works very well, adding some nice goosebumps moments to your listening experience. It's like listening to a movie that you can see in your mind.

But even if you're not in the mood for a radio play, you can easily skip the spoken parts and just enjoy the music. And there's definitely a lot to enjoy! The opener, "Shadowborn", has a catchy melody and whets the appetite for more. And as you go on, you won't be disappointed. Each and every song on the album is beautifully composed with recurring themes standing for the different characters of the story. You'll find epic prog songs such as the Lamplighter trilogy, beautiful ballads ("Eve's Song" is definitely one of the highlights), but also some harder stuff like "At the Sign of the Aperture", which is one of my personal favourites. But in fact, it's hard to name any favourites at all since each song has a fascination of its own, all of them very complex so that every time you listen, you'll discover something new.

Guest musicians such as Dave Oberl, Blaze Bayley, Arjen Lucassen and Melissa Hollick make sure that each of the story's main characters have their own singing voice which makes the entire story even more authentic. And in the end, after a long, epic journey, while listening to the final song, "Through the Lens", you'll feel as if you, in fact, see the sun rising for the very first time in your life. Gandalf's Fist at their best. Brilliant.

 The Clockwork Fable by GANDALF'S FIST album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.98 | 64 ratings

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The Clockwork Fable
Gandalf's Fist Neo-Prog

Review by MrHaddington

5 stars I got this mammoth of an album (three CD's in a fantastic designed DigiPak with over 3 hours of music and radioplay-bits on it) a few days ago (pre-ordering directly at the band's website rules!), and had in in my player since then. Gandalf's Fist have outdone themselves with this one *again* - even if you're not into all those radio-play dialogues and acting stuff, you still end up (by programming the player to just play all the EVEN track-numbers) with over 2 hours of fantastic music.

It's a general mixture between old and new, between sheer mandness and pure genious, spiced with a keen sense of beautiful and hooking melodies. Several songs end with such epic endings ("A Solemn Toast for the Steam Ranger Reborn" or "The Lamplighter (Parts IX-XIII)", to name just two), that you might think the albums over now. But then it moves on, even topping the preceeding songs. It is really hard to make out *THE* stand-out song, as there's so many of them. You're into ballads? Then "Eve's Song" and "The Clockwork Fable" might be just for you. Some more "pop-prog" stuff? Checkout "The Lamplighter (Parts XIV-XV)" or "Through The Lens". I could go on like that for ages, I have not heard something like this before - such diversity, such brilliant songwriting, so many melodies that won't go out of your head even after first listen!

I sometimes caught myself humming or whistling some yet familiar, but somewhat unknown melodies recently, and I wondered where I got that melody from - turns out it was one of the many parts and melodies hidden in this album.

But, besides the beautiful music - there's a story being told between (and within) the songs. It's the odd fight of good against evil, of we we simply never seem to get enough of. Here, the love for detail is at a really high quality, with the accompanying website Gandalf's Fist have set up. Really drags you into it, and after listening to half of the Album, you just cannot stop it, you want to find out if the band of rebels makes it in the end, or if "evil" prevails...

To sum it up: This seems to be Gandalf's Fist at their peak. I couldn't imagine them to become any better, but they probably will prove me wrong one day. Until then, I have this absolutely fantastic album to digest.

Truly deserved 5/5 Stars!

 A Forest of Fey by GANDALF'S FIST album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.91 | 141 ratings

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A Forest of Fey
Gandalf's Fist Neo-Prog

Review by Kevman28

4 stars Gandalf's fist are probably the band that excites me more than any other in the current crop of new prog bands. They have taken traditional neo prog, mixed it with some folk an a magic ingredient, with the result being similar but at the same time so different to anything else before them. The forest of fey is a very strong album - especially considering the budget they probably worked with. It is not perfect, but it is different and constantly changing to keep you wanting more. These guys have an edge that I truly believe will result in great things, and I am so pleased to have discovered them early on in their career. A whole bunch of music is already available (and the original digipacks are so hard to find. Think early porcupine tree and the value now). Please give these guys a try. Free music is available on the site, but puchase the forest of fey. Awesome.
 Uprooted by GANDALF'S FIST album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2015
4.76 | 8 ratings

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Uprooted
Gandalf's Fist Neo-Prog

Review by MrHaddington

5 stars Celebrating their tenth anniversary, Gandalf's Fist released a "Best of" album - but this is not "yet another compilation", as it contains one unreleased demo-track from 2005 and two re-recorded/remixed tracks as well!

According to the booklet (which is provided as a PDF within the download at Bandcamp), the drums of the first three tracks have been completely re-recorded by their new drummer, plus several other instruments (even added a gregorian chant on "The Council of Anderson"). The booklet is a good read, giving some nice background-infos about the songs.

The compilation brings you one track from every studio-album of Gandalf's Fist (including the "Songs from the Solway"-EP) plus said demotrack. They didn't choose the obvious tracks for every album (which, in my ears, would be "Emerald Eyes" from "Road to Darkness" for example), but seemed to choose the "not jumping at your ears at first, but equally outstanding" songs.

The three re-recorded/mixed songs are really polished up compared to the equivalent ones on the older albums - giving them a really fresh and breathing new outfit. It's real fun to listen to them!

Those three songs alone would justify for a paid release, but no - it's COMPLETELY FREE! You may, however, tip the band if you're in the mood. "Uprooted" deserves it for sure!

They could have made it a standard yada-yada best-of compilation, playing it safe using the obvious songs, but they didn't. And, as a free download, it deserves 5 Stars for sure!

You can find it in the "Free Music" section on their website, and on Bandcamp. Go get it, and donate some money to the band! You will not regret it!

 A Forest of Fey by GANDALF'S FIST album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.91 | 141 ratings

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A Forest of Fey
Gandalf's Fist Neo-Prog

Review by Rushfan47

5 stars Gandalf's Fist are fast becoming my favourite band, their new album is quite different from the last, but equally great. This one opens with a mother shouting for her child to stay with her and the voice drifts off into the background as the child wanders from the path. The album flows with interludes filling the gaps between the songs which add atmosphere and let the album flow, as with other Gandalf's fist albums its meant to be listened to in one go, which I have done repeatedly, that's not to say there's no stand out tracks,I would love to hear Forest Rose on the radio for one, Gardens of the Lost and Drifter on the edge of time for others. Guest vocalists add much depth to the proceedings with Stories old, being a prime example.

It's hard to pin down exactly what I love about this band, maybe that none of their songs really sound the same and no 2 albums have had a similar theme. this one is very Tull like in places and then the Maiden like guitars kick in and I'm not sure like I've quite heard anything like it before, all I know is that I like it.

9.5/10

 A Forest of Fey by GANDALF'S FIST album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.91 | 141 ratings

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A Forest of Fey
Gandalf's Fist Neo-Prog

Review by Calzino

4 stars Well what a surprise! Gandalf's Fist did it again! A Forest of Fey - I've had it on iTunes for about a week now and there's a lot of different sounding tracks here, each of which I have a different opinion but with a 100 words limit I highlight the three which I like best.

Forest of fey: Largely instrumental with more low whistles. Some dark lyrics and a contrasting catchy chorus that was stuck in my head for most of yesterday. Tempo changes keep things interesting.

Circus in the Clearing: Man what a song! I can hear some mellotron wheeling away in the background with pshychadelic distorted vocals and crunching guitar. A really trippy midsection that I really dig with some Bouzouki again provided by Donockley followed by some wakemen- style moog! Really great! More of this please!

Forest Rose: If this isn't an homage to Jethro Tull I don't know what is ? breathy vocals, folky acoustics and flutes-a-tooting left right and center! Whimsical for the most part but has quite a punchy, almost commercial chorus?. Fades seamlessly into: Return from the tournament: this is again the return to the motif we encountered in the circus in the clearing but this time 100% folked up! Donockley again on Bouzouki is accompanied by acoustics (and maybe mandolin?) with lead vocals by Gryphon's Dave Oberle'. What a blast from the past! It made me want to go and give "the unquiet grave" another spin!

All in all, recommended! Not yet on par with the great ancients like Jethro Tull but close!

Edit: got it all wrong! More words!

So here's to the other songs:

Childhood Ghosts: this is essentially an opener/narrative piece, it's rather dark and broody and sets the scene nicely? very malevolent sound effects add to this. There are some flanged (phased?) vocals towards the end that forshadow the mood of the record to follow? sounds of footsteps siege nicely into?

Gardens of the Lost: Great female vocals and acoustic guitar passages. The vocalist here reminds me of Kate Bush during the intro but then takes on a different tone later in the song. Some heavy guitar riffing and flute seem to, bafflingly, recall both thin lizzy and Jethro tull at the same time. Whistles from Troy Donockley add a cool 'celtic' vibe ? probably my favourite track on the album

Figure speaks: Really a narrative track?a low voice that recalls the intro to "the number of the beast" moves the story on onto the next song? The world we created: Interesting track that mixes spacey/verby vocals and Floyd-style guitar with a catchy female hook. Interesting song and very different from everything else in the set.

Blood for a royal pardon: Another narrative track which does it's job quite well. Short vocal section towards the end. Drifter on the edge of time: Another different track ? this time led by some excellent interplay between a male verse and female chorus. This plays to me like the ballad response to 'circus' ? very nice, almost dream theater in places and a groovy little synth solo from Clive Nolan at the end ? probably tied for my second favorite here!

Return from the tournament: this is again the return to the motif we encountered in the circus in the clearing but this time 100% folked up! Donockley again on Bouzouki is accompanied by acoustics (and maybe mandolin?) with lead vocals by Gryphon's Dave Oberle'. What a blast from the past! It made me want to go and give "the unquiet grave" another spin! Stories old and stories told: Another guest vocalist here in the guise of Arena's John Mitchell ? This recalls latter era genesis as well as returning to the themes set up in the first song ? very clever. The song switches to a minor key with the arrival of female vocals and has a very mournful ending ? up there with "drifter" for my second favorite! A poison tree ? very moody closer using the lyrics from a William Blake poem. The vibe again is very different and really seeks to end the story on a cliff hanger. Its short but sweet and then brings in some narrative parts from the intro ? everythings comes full circle!

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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