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Strawbs - From The Witchwood CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.02 | 257 ratings

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4 stars The new line-up (compared to their last studio album) also meant some changes in their musical style. The band plays a more rock oriented music combined with definite folk influences. I guess that folk-rock is the best way to describe this release.

There is a certain psychedelia mood available as well. Not to mention the Oriental influence of a track like Thirty Days and Cannondale. But lots of bands included these sounds at the time (or even earlier).

The Beatles influence on the vocal harmonies are nicely reproduced (Flight). And although now a full- time member, Rick Wakeman has little to no influence in terms of song writing and let's be honest: his wonderful skills are not very much put on the forefront either (except on a couple of songs).

One of my favourite track is The Hangman & The Papist which structure reminds me of their epic The Vision of the Lady of the Lake which was available on their previous album. The crescendo is very effective and the drumming admirably completes this excellent song (Rick's work is also detectable here).

He is much more prominent during Sheep, which is a very good psyche song full of pumping keyboards. It is a very lively track, rather different than their earlier production. But I do like this orientation. It is a solid rock number (almost heavy in terms of keyboarding). It is a highlight.

The Shepherd's Song is a combination of soft folk and excellent keyboard play: piano, mellotron are extremely enjoyable. The sitar sounds also nice (but this instrument has already been used in several tracks): this is also one of the highlights.

From The Witchwood combines nicely folk with symphonic prog. It is quite an achievement and a very enjoyable album to listen to. Seven out of ten; but I'll upgrade it thanks to its creative approach even if the few songs are more conventional.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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