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Magicfolk - 'Tales Of Power' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/0f/69/00/2357_magicfolktalesofpower_1339871662.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 16, 2012    
 
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A delightful listen.

The Norwich-based “collaborative venture” (my description, for I’ve no idea how many of them are actually a part of the “band” at the moment) known as Magicfolk lie at the intersection of British folk, pagan, psychedelic and prog rock sensibilities and ‘Tales Of Power’ is their second album (I reviewed their debut all the way back in Fireworks #31).

There have definitely been some line-up changes since the debut, and for example although Colin Mold (guitar/violin) features on all but one of the tracks presented here, he has now moved on to pastures greener – to the current line-up of Karnataka, no less! However, the main protagonists remain Michelle (vocals) and Ben Glover, who besides writing all the material, contribute an assortment of instruments. And that remains one of the quirky things about Magicfolk: the sheer range of real instruments that they continue to bring to the party!

Slightly more adventurous this time around, and on those numbers where the lyrical content is more narrative than in verse, I found myself reflecting upon similarities in style and approach with Principal Edwards’ Magic Theatre, the band that John Peel discovered and whose two albums (‘Soundtrack’ and ‘The Asmoto Running Band’) were released on his Dandelion label, although the vocals of Michelle Glover and Vivienne McAuliffe are quite different.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Mention of Glover’s vocals, at the start of both ‘Call Time’ and ‘Winged Bull’ she seems slightly out of tune, but especially on the latter this is soon forgotten as the number develops into the album’s piece de resistance. It’s an absolutely phenomenal six minutes, and should have concluded the album instead of their tagging on the acoustic ballad ‘Dweller’. It is also one of two tracks (the other being ‘The Faery Ring’) to feature voiceovers from Gareth Knight. He’s one of the world’s foremost authorities on ritual magic, the western mystery tradition and Qabalistic symbolism. (So now you know!) I also especially like the quirky ‘Into The Blue’ complete with harmonica intro, ‘Death & The Maiden’ which is one of several tracks to feature wonderful flautist Amber Curtis and the longest track ‘Dragonspell’ that clocks in at just over seven minutes. Lyrically, if not musically, it takes some digesting however!

Nevertheless, ‘Tales Of Power’ is another delightful listen for those of us Muggles who like this kinda thing!

Paul Jerome Smith

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