The Fellowship — In Elven Lands
(Voiceprint VP378CD, 2005, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2007-03-01
It is no surprise that Yes vocalist Jon Anderson would finally contribute to a musical project surrounding the highly profitable Lord of the Rings books and films. What is surprising is how low-profile this UK based project is considering the research and well crafted product by the loose confederation entitled The Fellowship. Constructing traditional folk-based arrangements around themes and derived lyrics from J.R.R. Tolkien’s books was not a big stretch for the capable ensemble. Anderson appears on four tracks and is composer of two. “Dan Barliman’s Jig” demonstrates his still-strong vocal range and danceable delivery. His lyrical imagery fits well into the Tolkien world with Eddie Freeman adding twelve string guitar supported by flutes and a krumhorn solo. “The Sacred Stones” is a precious adaptation of another moment in the Silmarillion story offset by hurdy gurdy and djarbka accompaniment. The closest comparison for this song would be to “Where Will You Be” from Yes’s Talk. Also the cover version of Page and Plant’s classic from Led Zeppelin IV, “The Battle of Evermore” is done up as a traditional dirge with Adam Pike’s John Cale like singing. In contrast, Caitlin Elizabeth imparts several stronger lead vocals across the disk in a style not far removed from Enya’s serene delivery. Instrumental pieces by Carvin Knowles offset the vocal pieces, creating a seamless representation of the unique subject matter. Overall the 16 pieces are a must-hear for fans of Enya, Mediæval Bæbes, and Blackmore’s Night.
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more