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Carol Of Harvest - Carol Of Harvest CD (album) cover

CAROL OF HARVEST

Carol Of Harvest

 

Prog Folk

4.00 | 75 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Stunning sole album from this very recent discovery even among hard-line collectors, this group is now more reputed but it still has loads to achieve in notoriety to achieve the popularity it merits. This quintet recorded what can be considered a masterpiece of progressive Folk Rock in 1978, when the interest for such a record had been on the wane for a while, which might explain the confidentiality of it (it was also pressed to minimum quantity). Looking back, this album probably sounded quite dated in 78, but I assure you that nowadays this music is timeless and absolutely beautiful.

Brainchild of guitarist Axel Schmierer, who wrote all tracks and English lyrics, this album radiates beauty of groups such as The Trees or Hoelderlin's Traum. Compared to the Trees (most striking comparison) is the beautiful female voice of Beate Krause, but also the large instrument passages which are given even more room than on any tracks of The Trees's two albums. If some progheads have doubt that all f those folk rock groups from the turn of the 70's decade are progressive enough to be on the Archives, here you will have absolutely no doubts: if this folk is not prog, than there can be no such thing.

Lenghty opener (16 min) Nightcap is a pure delight wiÁth an acoustic guitar emerging from the winds and adopting a melody that will closely resemble one from Roger Waters on The Wall, and the vocals (Sandy Denny anyone?) takes us quickly to a superb ambiance mixed with KB of the era but played divinely slow to fit the music. Just before the 7 min-mark, the track picks up speed but repeats the previous pattern and Schmierer's soaring solo does you wonders in terms of spine chills before dying out. A sonar tone brings you back to life along with the siren's chant: you must be Ulysses tied to his mast. The tunes picks up speed once again than calms down to the returning sonar and so on. Second (short) track is much more trad folk and closing a stunning first side.

The second side starts very much in the mould of its predecessor (maybe a bit too much) but slightly less expansive on the instrumental side and Treary Eyes is also in that typical mould between Pentangle and The Trees while the 10 min closer brings back some of the majesty of the first side of the vinyl. Most of the lyrics (perfectly sung in English) are not reaching far or have no deep meaning but still positive and charming.

The three live bonus tracks bring little more to the album (the sound quality is average and the songs are unremarkable but have a space rock sound), but they do not interfere with the overall fluidity of the album as well as its enjoyment. Part of the excitement of this album is to discover a great to superb folk prog album that belongs with the best of the decade but was recorded so late that it went unnoticed and can now be seen as a lost and forgotten gem.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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