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White Willow - Sacrament CD (album) cover


White Willow


Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 158 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars When I listen to White Willow, I feel the need to rush indoors, start a fire and curl up in a blanket. Then I realize I am already indoors and the temperature is 20C (68F). Is this a good thing or a bad thing? With White Willow, the answer is.....yes. It's both.

The chill helps to paint a more vivid aural image than in most prog. You can almost imagine a nearly 24 hour dusk when listening to the longer songs especially. Some parts, especially the very quiet segments and those with flute, are nearly pure magic. The band knows the power of restraint, and also tries with little success to vary the tempo; they too often lapse into maddening minimalism when they get heavier. The variability does not extend the palate of overall hues, which is a shame. It's nearly always depressive in one manner or another. For the most part, White Willow's music doesn't get to my molten core, and this is largely, I believe, because of the lack of real contrasts in mood and vocal expressions.

The best tracks are those that do not try to take us from quietly somber to suicidally somber, particularly the melodic peak of "Paper Moon" and "The Last Rose of Summer", although "Gnostalgia" is the most cohesive and compelling of the extended pieces. While "The Reach" has its moments, and the "Ring around the Rosie" chorus is oddly befitting of White Willow, it's just a bit too weird, not to mention disturbing. The dark night of the soul is a much more tolerable place to be when one can sense the encroaching dawn.

While decent enough, "Sacrament" will probably be my last such arboreal foray, as I remain only mildly inspired even after multiple visits to the wood.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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