Exposé Online banner

White Willow — Ignis Fatuus
(Laser's Edge LE 1021, 1995, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-07-01

Ignis Fatuus Cover artThis one was worth the wait! This new band from Norway plays a rich blend of folk and symphonic rock, sprinkled with a generous helping of classical influence. Fronted by the gorgeous female voice of Eldrid Johansen (or Sara Trondal on a few tracks), with supporting harmonies from other members of the band, the band's main movers are Jan Tariq Rahmann (Mellotron, keys, woodwinds, guitars, sitar, bass, pedals, vocals etc.), Tiril Mohn (violin), Audun Kjus (flute, pipes, vocals), Al Engerbretsen (bass) and Jacob Holm-Lupo (guitars). The drummer remains anonymous. In addition a large cast of guest musicians join the band on various tracks. Throughout the album's eleven tracks, the energy level is in a constant state of flux, varying from one moment to the next. A full group instrumental rock flight might be followed by a trio for acoustic guitar, cello, and flute, followed by a folk-tune for acoustic guitar and solo voice, turning slowly back to a more rock based sound. There are many such 'cycles' throughout the album's 67 minutes. The overall mood of the album is a bit dark and pensive, shrouded in mystery, with carefully crafted flashes of brightness and color, much like Änglagård's Hybris. Eldrid's crystalline voice is one perfectly suited to the expressive nature of the music, reminding a bit of Jane Relf (Renaissance, Illusion) at times. Surprisingly, Sara's voice is very similar. Fans of the Mellotron will be pleased, it's used generously, but not to excess, throughout the album. In summary, this is a stunning album, made even more so by the fact that this is the band's very first recording. The only complaint might be the album's excessive length: through the many cycles of intensity and release, the journey seems a bit of a long haul. Still, that's a minor gripe, because very little of what's here could be called filler. I'm sure this is one album that will please many! Änglagård's Hybris has finally met its match.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 7, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): White Willow

Latest news

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more

2017-01-27
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more

2017-01-26
Butch Trucks RIP – Butch Trucks was one of two drummers in the first incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, helping the band achieve its legendary status as an American original. He died on January 24, 2017 of a self-inflicted gunshot would. He was 69. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cursive - The Ugly Organ – Last year many in the prog community embraced The Mars Volta and their infusion of prog ideas (and excesses) into alternative/indie American rock. Cursive is another band making the same kinds of...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues