White Willow - Sacrament

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Laser's Edge
Catalog Number: LE 1034
Format: CD
Total Time: 48:05:00

This review has been written in the middle of France. With a nice bottle of Côte du Lubèron within reach the sounds of White Willow came to me like a beneficial source of charity. With their debut Ignis Fatuus, their record company Laser's Edge depicted them as being the true successors of Änglägard. True, both Ignis Fatuus and the follow-up Ex Tenebris do include the same combination of folk and symphonic rock yet with Sacrament the band certainly steers their little boat into the direction of other seas.

The "naked" arrangement remains whilst Sylvia Erichsen's voice becomes the main attraction in order to change White Willow into a contemporary ambient equivalent of Portishead or Hooverphonic. Voice and flute are our guide through the dark woods whilst church organ backs the sacral elements. It's especially the Bardens-like Moog which has "Paper Moon" float towards Camel yet Sylvia's voice gets close to Cardigans and Pineforest Crunch (the latter featuring ex-Änglägard drummer Mattias Olsson!)

"The Crucible" is top notch medieval instrumental with a spotlight reserved for guitarist/leader Jacob Holm-Lupo, a song which ends in pure Jethro Tull tradition. That subtle "more with less" arrangement is continued throughout "The Last Rose Of Summer" where we can even spot similarities with C, S, N & Y ! Flute shows the way towards divine sounds in "Gnostalgia" whilst my bottle of Côte du Lubèron is nearly half empty (or should we say half full ?). Again a royal dose of folk with a lot of committment and feeling from Sylvia and experimental guitar from Jacob, weird keyboardsounds from Brynjan Dambo and the powerful Rickenbacker sounds of Johannes Saboe.

The bottle is empty whilst ominous clouds have packed together to become one with the music. Dark, almost Satanic music from the otherwise virgin White Willow. Children become adults!

Anamnesis (9:11) / Paper Moon (6:44) / The Crucible (7:31) / The Last Rose Of Summer (3:23) / Gnostalgia (10:17) / The Reach (10:59)

Sylvia Erichsen - vocals
Jacob Holm-Lupo - electric, acoustic, and classical guitars, vocals, additional keyboards and bass guitar
Brynjar Dambo - keyboards and glockenspiel
Aage Moltke Schou - drums, percussion and glockenspiel
Johannes S?b?e - bass guitar
Ketil Vestrum Einarsen - flutes, recorders, melodica and additional keyboards

Simen E Haugberg - oboe (1, 3, 5)
?ystein Vesaas - ambient vocals (1)

Ignus Fatuus (1995)
Ex Tenebris (1998)
Sacrament (2000)
Storm Season (2004)
Signal To Noise (2006)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin NO

Added: September 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.whitewillow.info
Hits: 1631
Language: english


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