Exposé Online banner

Hanterhir — The Saving of Cadan
(Easy Action EARS123, 2018, 2CD / 3LP)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-09-08

The Saving of Cadan Cover art

I’m a fan of artistic ambition when it comes to music, though of course there’s always a risk that ambition exceeds the ability to deliver on the plan. Hanterhir is a band new to me, though they’ve been releasing music since 2010. The Saving of Cadan is a monumental concept album, more than an hour and a half of music comprised of 21 tracks on two CDs (or a five-sided LP set), which presents ample opportunities for stumbling. The fact that it’s enjoyable from start to finish is nothing short of amazing, and the broad stylistic palette is part of what makes it work. They manage to integrate aspects of psychedelic folk-rock, space-rock, and prog-rock into a sound that works much better than one might expect, and the use of jazzy and electronic elements provides further coloration. To put it in terms of previous music, useful comparisons would involve Grave New World (Strawbs), The Táin (both Horslips and The Decemberists), Etceteraville (Random Hold), Mwng (Super Furry Animals), and a bit of Animals or Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd) though where to get the saxophone that frequently appears I’m not sure. Obviously this list of references is broad enough to be nearly meaningless, which speaks to the fact that Hanterhir is in a category of their own. Lyrics are sometimes in English and sometimes in Cornish, a Celtic language related to Welsh and Irish that went extinct in the 1700s but has been recently revived. The instrumentation consists of standard rock instruments for the most part, though at times it seems like some kind of bagpipe may be in the mix — probably a keyboard, but an effective tone nonetheless. Several of the longer tracks feature a masterful blend of soft and loud sections, exemplified by “Hello Sunshine,” which opens the album with ambient keyboards and acoustic guitar and gradually builds to a positively massive peak featuring heavily distorted guitars and screeching sax, then retreats into a gentle, spacy coda. All of the songs can work independent of the story, standing on their own as pieces of music. The Saving of Cadan is an example of a long concept album done right, avoiding the pitfalls that have beset so many who attempted the feat before.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Hanterhir

More info
http://easyaction.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=608

Latest news

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Maxophone - Maxophone – Ah yes, yet another great Italian band. The closest comparison that I can make is with Locanda delle Fate, but that doesn't quite describe Maxophone. While Locanda was a full, rich seven piece that...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues