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Willowglass — Book of Hours
((Not on label) WGCD002, 2008, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-10-01

Book of Hours Cover art

Perhaps I’m just overly influenced by the artwork in the booklet, but it truly does seem like this music conjures up imagery of scenic rural England in times long gone by – green grass, hills, hedgerows, streams, wild flowers, a knight in armor on a white horse, maidens in waiting, etc. Willowglass is the purely instrumental project of Andrew Marshall, who handles all the compositions, arrangements, and production, as well as most of the instrumentation (keyboards – organ, synths, string ensemble, and a convincing Mellotron sound, plus bass, flute, recorders, bass pedals, acoustic, electric and 12-string guitars, drums, percussion), ably assisted by Dave Brightman on the drum kit. While much of the material here is very pastoral, colorful and overtly melodic and pretty, it does embrace much of the classic progressive rock idiom throughout its five long tracks, which steer the listener through numerous sections, each introducing new themes and variations. A listener might, during the course of this disc recall the melodic brilliance of The Snow Goose or the 12-string instrumental delicacy of The Geese and the Ghost, or even the power and majesty of Autumn’s Oceanworld. That is to say this recalls classic prog of the highest order without ever sounding particularly derivative. This sophomore effort is a big step forward from the debut disc a couple years back; it pushes all those proggy buttons, so one might suspect that a good percentage of the readership will find Book of Hours very much to their liking. I certainly do.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2008 releases

Related artist(s): Willowglass

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