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White Willow - Ex Tenebris CD (album) cover


White Willow


Symphonic Prog

3.25 | 101 ratings

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Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars Is this symphonic, neo or post-rock? Kind of hard to tell really. I think they get the symphonic nod thanks to the use of mellotron, but beyond that I’d say they are really another neo-progressive band with some mildly symphonic arrangements here and there.

The tone is closer to post-rock at times though, with an awful lot of slowly building instrumental passages that sometimes build up into something interesting (like the guitar passage on “Helen and Simon Magus”), but more often just lumber along until they run out of steam, interest and/or ideas (“Leaving the House of Thanatos”, “Soteriology”, Thirteen Days”). That last one would make for a decent folk tune, but in the context of this album it seems out-of-place and not very well thought out.

“The Book of Love” is the weirdest one of all, not much more than a plodding drum line and mellotron/ synthesizer noodling while Sylvia Erichsen provides vocal accompaniment to fellow crooner keyboardist Jan Tarig Rahman, who sounds all the world like Christopher Cross.

The epic-length closing “A Strange Procession..., …a Dance of Shadows” is clearly what got this one the symphonic label (that and the whole mellotron thing). The eighteen minute organ, synthesizer, mellotron and drum dirge is eerie at times and slightly annoying at others, but the band covers a lot of ground with the ever-shifting arrangement and have to be given their due for at least putting some creative thought into this one.

I can’t get excited about the album at all, but at least one of my kids seems to think it’s a decent neo album. So partially in deference to his taste I’ll say three stars, but if you happen to be someone who reads many of my reviews and has a tendency to have similar tastes, you probably won’t find much in this one that appeals to you. Que sera.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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