ARTIST:

CLIVE NOLAN

(UNITED KINGDOM)
TITLE:

SONG OF THE WILDLANDS

(2021)
LABEL:

AUTRE LABEL

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE ROCK

TAGS:
Celtic, Concept-album, Epic, Folk, Symphonic
"By adapting a major poem of the Anglo-Saxon literature, Clive Nolan confirms his taste for stories and, using the fruit of all his past experiences, imposes a real epic breath to this "Song of the Wilderness"."
ABADDON (06.05.2021)  
4/5
(0) opinions from our readers (1) comment(s)

Autumn 1982. The young Clive Nolan (he was then 21) attended a Marillion concert in London. Impressed by the song 'Grendel', he declares: "One day, these guys are going to work with me", and he was partly right - Arena was created 13 years later with the drummer of the time, Mick Pointer. 'Grendel' inspired him to write the track 'Loki', as soon as he returned from the gig. In spring 2021, the same Clive Nolan, after many projects, published "Song of The Wildlands", an adaptation of a major epic poem of the Anglo-Saxon literature (VIIth century), which puts in scene a warrior become king after having overcome a formidable monster: Grendel. The circle is closed.

Beowulf is a young warrior who dared to attack the demon Grendel, but also had to kill his mother in a fit of revenge, and then reigned for 50 years before perishing in a battle with a dragon. With such a theme, Clive Nolan confirms his taste for stories and, using the fruit of all his past experiences, imposes a real epic breath to this "Song of the Wilderness". Those who followed the keyboardist will recognize a strong kinship with "The Hound of Baskerville", with a more marked orchestral coloration inherited from Caamora, while keeping the "intranquil" atmospheres that he likes with Arena. To give more amplitude to the realization of his project, Clive joined the services of a hundred of choristers which reinforces the religious aspect of certain pieces ('Journey' or the magnificent 'Funeral Pyre'). It is necessary to recognize that the whole looks good, especially since Clive does not hesitate to deploy vocal polyphonies ('Crossing The Ocean') or Celtic touches (the use of the violin on 'Celebration', for example) which go until reminding the Mike Oldfield of "Ommadawn" ('Beowulf, the King').

Singers and musicians are in tune - some of them are old acquaintances of Clive: Mark Westwood (Shadowland, Caamora), Christina Booth (Magenta) or Scott Higham (Pendragon). The only reservations to bring to this beautiful set - which manages almost all the time to avoid the pompous side - are in the orientation that Clive wanted to give to the project: it seems obvious that he wanted first to keep a chanson de geste spirit by making each of the pieces preceded by an explanatory recital. The process is commendable in terms of storytelling, but it intersperses the plot with small talk that breaks the musical continuity and can quickly become annoying (especially since, put together, they take up more than 9 minutes...). Secondly, Clive has placed his keyboards on an orchestral plane (very successful, by the way) which evolves almost only in accompaniment. Consequently, no consequent instrumental part is deployed, and it is allowed to regret it.

Nevertheless, the saga is remarkably translated into music: Clive Nolan has offered himself a beautiful toy with his choral ensemble, and using the experience of his previous projects, restores with mastery the breath of the epic.


More informations on http://www.clivenolan.net/



SIMILAR BANDS:
NOLAN AND WAKEMAN, ARENA, TORRENT


TRACK LISTING:
01. The Story Begins
02. There's a Threat
03. Crossing the Ocean
04. Beowulf's Promise
05. Grendel Attacks
06. Celebration
07. The Hag's Revenge
08. Journey
09. Underwater Cavern
10. Rewards
11. Beowulf, the King
12. Dragon Fire
13. The Warrior Dies
14. Funeral Pyre
15. The Story Ends

LINEUP:
Clive Nolan: Chant / Claviers
Arnfinn Isaksen: Basse
Birgitte Njå: Lure
Christina Booth: Chant / ( Tyra)
Ensemble Anonym: Plain-chant
Geir Johansen: Percussions
Gemma Ashley: Chant / ( Solveig)
Mark Westwood: Guitares
Morten Clason: Flûte
Natalie Barnett: Chant / ( Freja)
Ross Andrews: Narration
Ryan Morgan: Chant / ( Beowulf)
Scott Higham: Batterie
Stig Andre Clason: Guitares
The " Wildland Warriors Choir": Choeurs
Vicki Swan: Nyckelharpa
   
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TONYB
06/05/2021
  0
Bien plus intéressant que ses dernières incursions dans le monde des "musicals", cet album est une vraie réussite.
Pour information : en raison des conditions actuelles, sortie repoussée ... au mois de septembre 2021.
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