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White Willow - Sacrament CD (album) cover


White Willow


Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 158 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars What I like the most with WW's albums is that everyone sounds different from each other and nevertheless I love them all in some way. Although EX TENEBRIS was somewhat weaker than their debut, it was still quite good. SACRAMENT might be the most difficult one to get into due to its quite complicate structure with many rather quiet sections but as well some quite heavy ones , but with a bit of patience and careful listening during a few spins it's really becoming an album that one will love to listen again and again. Although it's very different from its follow-up STORM SEASON, which is top-notch and more accessible I would say it's really not of minor quality compared to that one.

After a very calm beginning with nice vocals by Sylvia Erichsen Anamnesis is becoming more up-tempo and quite heavy in its second half with driving guitars and vocals that are getting into a range which might be difficult to support for some people. Actually there is a warning on the CD, that its dynamic range would test the limits of your sound system. The outro of the song has a very nice symphonic sound with church organ and woodwinds. Papermoon is a very nice song as well with excellent instrumental sections. It starts with soft piano, then keyboards and drums are setting with vocals that are sometimes vocodered. The final instrumental part is really great. The Crucible is an instrumental track very much in a classical (Renaissance era) vein combining flutes, recorders and organ. Especially the flutes are giving it a bit of JETHRO TULL-reminiscence. The Last Rose Of Summer is very folk-ish with acoustic guitar, flute and shared vocals between Jacob Holm-Lupo and Sylvia. It's the only song on the album which is mellow in its whole. Gnostolgia is a very mystical one starting again softly with acoustic guitar, woodwinds and vocals. Most of the song is rather quiet apart of a short section with electric guitar towards the end. In the last song The Reach the refrain is based on a nursery rhyme. It sounds very dark and enigmatic and is the most "heavy" one of the album.

As a summary SACRAMENT is an excellent melancholic album with not any weak song. Without any doubts it's better than their two previous ones. But to discover fully its beauty and appreciate its qualities I would recommend to listen to it using headphones.

Edited 09/27/05!

I'm very close to give it the full score, but since it might not appeal to any prog fan, I'm reducing to 4 stars (but 4,5 in real!).

hdfisch | 4/5 |


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