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White Willow - Future Hopes CD (album) cover


White Willow


Symphonic Prog

3.63 | 83 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is the seventh and most recent studio album from WHITE WILLOW released in 2017. They keep things status quo you could say when compared to the previous album "Terminal Twilight" from 2011. That is my favourite record from this band with "Sacrament" the runner up. The big change on "Future Hopes" is the new female singer Venke Knutson who is also the vocalist for OPIUM CARTEL another Jacob Holm-Lupo project. We've had several female singers come and go from this band and she fits the style and sound for sure like the rest did.

And how about that Roger Dean cover art? Man that is something to be proud of in fact I read where Jacob was mentioning an art tour that Roger Dean was doing across America and the opening art for the exhibit in Miami was this album cover, pretty cool. Lars Fredrik Froislie is back on keyboards and while the guest list doesn't impress as much as the one on "Terminal Twilight" we do have guitarist extraordinaire Hedvig Mollestad playing lead on the two longest tracks. The album "sounds"amazing I will say that. We have Mattias Olsson back on drums but they do add fake beats for some reason which I find annoying.

I feel like lately I am being taken to task over my stance on bonus tracks in that they are normally worthless but again that SCORPIONS cover "Animal Magnetism" is the best track on here and a lot of that has to do with the guest clarinet player who is so adventerous and innovative that I wish he was part of the band. I know that would change their sound but he's that good. The title track to open the album opens and ends in a spacey manner but some beautiful music in between including Mattias adding some e-bow.

"Silver And Gold" is kind of folky with acoustic guitar and laid back vocals to open and end the song. "Where There Was Sea There Is Abyss" is a 2 minute piece with spacey sounds and guitar. The two long pieces involve Hedvig on guitar playing in different styles. "In Dim Days" is 11 minutes long and features some electronics from Lars, lots of beats and of course some excellent guitar. Some heaviness and a haunting section too with piano and atmosphere. The closer "A Sacred View" is over 18 minutes long. Again we get plenty of spacey music, vocals, guitar and keyboards over that time.

This just doesn't connect with me like "Terminal Twilight" does or even "Sacrament" for that matter but you just can't go wrong picking up any of WHITE WILLOW's albums as they are of quality. Hopefully we'll see a new recording from this band soon.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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