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Gandalf - Tale From A Long Forgotten Kingdom CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

2.76 | 19 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars The sacred esoteric formula

The first thing that struck me about Gandalf's Tale From A Long Forgotten Kingdom is how much the sleeve picture of this album reminds of those for Pendragon's albums (from 1991's The World to 2001's Not Of This World). The music on this album is however not very close to that of Pendragon except maybe in some minor incidental aspects (if you want something more towards Neo-Prog you would do better to look into Gandalf's collaboration with Tracy Hitchings on the album To Our Children's Children).

For this album, multi-instrumentalist Gandalf was on his own again (except for some fleeting wordless vocals by Pippa Armstrong). Comparing with his previous albums I would say that this one is perhaps closest to the debut Journey To An Imaginary Land, but the present album is noteworthy in bringing in many elements of what might be called World-Music and New-Age respectively. But thankfully, he still has one foot in Rock music.

This bright and colourful music is mostly soft and dreamy and Gandalf concentrates here on atmospheres and moods more so than on creating melodies, yet he still manages to make varied and pleasant instrumental music. I was previously familiar with The River Of Realization from the very good live recording Gallery Of Dreams Live (part 1) and it must be pointed out that the live version is much better than this studio version. The River Of Realization (part 2) is nonetheless the best track on Tale From A Long Forgotten Kingdom. Generally, the better tracks of this album come at the end with On The Peacock's Wings and the closer Back Home. The least good track is the longest The Nawan Path which I think is just too long for its own good. The Sacred Esoteric Formula is also a bit too esoteric for me.

Tale From A Long Forgotten Kingdom is by no means Gandalf's best album, but it is the last of the albums that make up his best and most interesting early period, and it is a fitting inclusion in a collection that holds his first four albums.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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