Exposé Online banner

Fern Knight — Castings
(VHF 122, 2010, LP)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2011-06-01

Castings Cover art

Drawing seemingly equal parts from dark-age folk, psychedelic mysticism, and post-rock, this latest release by Fern Knight embraces some of the more straightforward folk sound of their 2008 self-titled release mixed with an abundance of the twisted gothic imagery that pervaded their earlier Music for Witches and Alchemists, along with some new turns and twists. As before, bandleader, singer and songwriter Margaret Ayre (née Wienk) is firmly at the helm of this ship, also contributing cello and acoustic guitar to the band’s sonic palette. A somewhat heavier, often jammy sound is invoked on many of the album’s nine cuts (“Cups and Wands,” “The Eye of the Queen,” and “The Poisoner” are immediate standouts), courtesy of bandmembers Jim Ayre and Jesse Spearhawk, both contributing electric guitars, drums, and percussion, and backing vocals, with the latter also on electric bass and harp. Throughout the proceedings, we have James Wolf on violin, adding color and a brighter melodic counterfoil to the darker, more sombre sounds of the cello. There also seem to be a number of uncredited guests on occasional flute and brass. For prog cred, an exceptional arrangement of King Crimson’s “Epitaph” comes late in the set, with cello, violin, and string harp taking a lead role in the instrumental mix, and Margaret’s voice perfectly elucidating the song’s foreboding lyrics. All taken, this latest release is a major step forward for Fern Knight, recommended for all.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Fern Knight

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Land - Road Movies – Jeff Greinke’s Seattle project has evolved from a small collective to a full ensemble taking on an entirely evolved format. This time out, there are smooth grooves and a forward outlook, and...  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues