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Robert Berry - (A Soundtrack For) The Wheel Of Time CD (album) cover


Robert Berry


Crossover Prog

2.69 | 10 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars A novel soundtrack

It may look like a film soundtrack album, and it may sound like film music, but (as far as I understand) this is not a film soundtrack album. Indeed, (again as far as I understand) no such film exists. Rather, it is a conceptual album based around a series of fantasy novels written by Robert Jordan. I have never read any of these novels, but presumably Robert Berry has read them, and he has created a book soundtrack to go with the fantasy series. The music could however easily have been for a film, at least some parts of it sound like film score material. Other parts reminded me of Alan Simon's Excalibur trilogy, even though the present album is significantly less star-studded. Most of the instruments are played by Berry himself, but he does invite a few helpers including two members of the brilliant Prog Folk band Tempest. Berry has previously contributed production and keyboards to Tempest's albums and here Lief Sorbye and Michael Mullin of that band repay the service on mandolin and violin respectively. The album is mostly instrumental, but a few tracks feature lead vocals by Andy Frazier and Lisa Bouchelle.

Compared to the only other solo album I've heard from Berry, Pilgrimage To A Point, this one is radically different. While Pilgrimage To A Point is best described as Crossover Prog in the vein of GTR (the band featuring Steve Howe and Steve Hackett and in which Berry was involved at some point) and 3 (the version of ELP in which Berry replaced Greg Lake), A Soundtrack For The Wheel Of Time is a mixture of Folk Rock/Prog Folk and "film" music. At first, I found it a bit tame, but I began to appreciate it after several listens and find it a rather enjoyable listen. The mandolin playing of Sorbye adds a nice touch to the often hard edged electric guitars and New-Age like synths. The best track for me is The Winespring Reel in which mandolin, lead guitars, and synthesisers interact wonderfully.

A Soundtrack For The Wheel Of Time is worth hearing, but it is certainly not essential listening

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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