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Will-O-The-Wisp - Ceremony Of Innocence CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.95 | 27 ratings

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Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars If I had to rank the four Will-o-the Wisp albums I'd put this one in third place behind their fresh debut and their breathtaking final album 'A Gift For Your Dreams'. Still, that's not a bad place considering all of their records are very, very good and well worth the trouble of seeking them out. The main difference with this one is that there's nothing to distinguish it from the other two mentioned here. The debut was such a surprise that the impression continues to last. And the final record includes strings (violin) and this music is made to be accompanied by strings of some sort. Also, the two cover versions of "Natural Boy" aka "Nature Boy" are a real treat.

All that said, this is still an outstanding psych/folk/neo-prog album, with none of those labels being any less or more appropriate in than the others in describing the music. As with their other albums lead guitarist Takis Barbagalas delivers long, whiny arpeggios and sustained chords that smack of the finest neo-prog of the eighties and nineties. Dina Nassi's whirling organ passages give the music a retro, slightly psych-tinged flavor, while Aggelos Gerakitis' easy-going and comfortable vocals, along with just the right touch of flute from Nikos Chalikias, give the music a bit of a folk feel at times. It all works together seamlessly.

That's not to say that everything is perfect. At times the band seems to become just a tad bit self-indulgent, as with the rambling lyrical and repetitive organ passage on "The Reaper's Paper Boat" that extends the song needlessly. Or Gerakitis' vocals on "A William Blake's Song" that overshadow those of chanteuse Sofia Rapti toward the end and almost ruin what would have otherwise been a stunningly beautiful delicate ballad.

But these are minor points really, and the strong guitar and flute passages on tracks like "Fairies Waltz" and "The Rabbit Under the Teardrop's Shade (of Alice)" more than make up for any shortcomings elsewhere. And the acoustic guitar lead-in on "Hew A Dream In The Twilight" gives a wonderful, airy balance to the more weighty organ and electric guitar work on most of the other tracks.

This is one of those records that can either be listened to intently, or can just as easily offer a rich backdrop to an evening spent on other pursuits. Either way, the experience is worth the cost of admission.

Easily four stars, as are most of the band's other albums. Forget trying to get your hands on the limited-edition vinyl version of this record, but the CD version is much more easily had and I would assume just as good. Very highly recommended to just about any sort of progressive rock fan, and particularly to those who favor psych and neo-prog. Worth seeking out.


ClemofNazareth | 4/5 |


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