Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Rock, Metal
Sacrament shows the maturity of the band. Perhaps a bit heavier than before but with all their trademark ingredients in place, White Willow will easily once again capture the attention of progressive rock fans around the ... more »
Sacrament shows the maturity of the band. Perhaps a bit heavier than before but with all their trademark ingredients in place, White Willow will easily once again capture the attention of progressive rock fans around the world. Imagine a blend of The Ga
Indelible dark beauty.
Lord Chimp | Monkey World | 07/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I like White Willow a lot. Hailing from Norway, they are bar none among of the best prog bands to enter the scene in the 90s, even considering some pretty stiff competition. They are a imaginative group calling on different influences than their peers, mentioning in their liner notes the eternal inspiration of King Crimson, Nick Drake, and Blue Oyster Cult. Rather than pepper their songs with pop hooks and cheesy virtuosity, White Willow embraces mood, dark atmospheres, and delicate beauty. Instrumentation consists of guitar (mostly acoustic, with electric guitar solos and some other electric parts), flute, synthesizer/mellotron, bass, and drums (masterfully played by Anglagard's Mattias Olsson -- this guy is pretty incredible). The first two songs' lead vocals are sung by Jan Tariq Rahman, "Thirteen Days" by Asa Eklund, and the others (excepting the instrumental "A Strange Procession...") Sylvia Erichsen.There has been a definite sense of development in White Willow's music thus far, from their first album _Ignus Fatuus_ to their most recent _Sacrament_. The music has grown more dynamic and far-reaching. All have been excellent, although I like this one the most so far. This album has a mellow "prog sound" but it never succumbs to any "White Willow prog formula" if you know what I mean. This is fresh stuff."Leaving the House of Thanatos" is an amazing, melancholy epic. It opens with a pastoral acoustic guitar and eerie synths blossoming in the background like will-o'-the-wisps passing through the nighttime forest. Then a synth's ivory beam of light sketches the beautiful main theme. A heavy bass vamp and sharp snare crack sunders this peace with and a baroque vocal line. The melody is unusual and haunting. The chorus echoes the synth theme from before, with Erichsen and Rahman creating a beautiful harmony. The swampy, slow rhythm jam that comes after shows the subtle complexity White Willow is capable of. The climax is the majestic, ultra-gorgeous guitar solo of Jacob C. Holm-Lupo. Then repeat verse and chorus and fadeout -- usually fadeouts are cheesy, but here it perfectly fits the lyrics of the chorus.This is not an album that disappoints with tracks unable to match the great opener. "The Book of Love" is a bare ballad, with acoustic guitars and a flute solo, and male-female vocal harmonies that are sweeter than honey. Lyrically it is almost saccharine, but White Willow so surreally captures the sentiment with utmost earnestness. "Soteriology" is symphonic and haunting, a mood carried on by the following epic "Helen and Simon Magus". This piece bridges beauty with complexity, a mellifluous current hiding many surprises. The ending is very weird and creepy, with a female voice (spoken) over a baneful piano melody. "Thirteen Days" is an obsessive love song, instrumentation sounding like it comes from an amoral dreamworld. "A Strange Procession..." is a chilling organ based piece with slow, heavy marching percussion that rumbles the earth. "...A Dance of Shadows" is an effective, challenging closer. The instrumental middle is a twisted menagerie of intoxicated circus music and shadowy rites enclosed by beautiful elegy with Sylvia Erichsen's lugubrious vocal.Lastly, this album is BEAUTIFULLY recorded. The engineer deserves a medal, in my opinion. BUY IT."
The symhonic rock is not dead
Lord Chimp | 05/11/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Unlike most modern progressive rock bands bands, While Willow IS progressive. Where other bands just end up being regressive White Willow is innovative, but there is never any doubt where they get their inspiration from. The music of Willow is deeply rooted in the tradition of 70's progrock bands like King Crimson, Genesis.... but White Willow never end up like sound-a-likes or clones. The music can best be described as dark and introvert symhonic rock. The lyrics reminds me in a way of William Blakes lyrics, probably because of it gnostic tendencies. All the musicians on the record is great, especially lead singer Sylvia Erichsen. If you you like dark symphonic rock this is THE band for you. Jørgen"
A. Haynes | Sydney, NSW Australia | 03/21/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I heard this album after owning White Willow's third effort, Sacrament, and whilst I would rank this album below Sacrament it is still a very nice album.Sacrament's songs had a tendency to start off all nice, and then build up to powerfull crescendos, a feature that I love in songs. Ex Tenebris on the other hand, sort of stays at the "all nice" level for the most part, something I can still appreciate, but it doesn't quite grab me the same way.That said, it does add to the whole "ethereal" side of White Willow. Everyone in the band does a great job, and the CD makes a great listen. White Willow are also one of the few new "prog" acts that I find myself being able to listen too.If you already own Sacrament, pick this one up as well, it's different but still very nice. If not, maybe you should start with Sacrament, and see if you find yourself wanting more."