Wednesday, May 4, 2016

GANDALF’S FIST: The Clockwork Fable (2016)

  Gandalf’s Fist is centered around 2 very creative persons; Luke Severn and Dean Marsh, plus a big variety of musicians that they have been using for the needs of the recordings of their albums.
   I learned about Gandalf’s Fist 2 years ago, with the release of their previous album ‘A Forest of Fey’. In these 2 years, I added in my collection 2-3 of their albums, and I was lucky enough to “meet” with their drummer Stefan Hepe. Further than that, I had the pleasure to have them as guests in my radio show “Prog & Roll” a few months ago and we had lots of fun altogether. (As it seems we will have them as “guests” again after a month or so, in order to make something like a small “presentation” for this album).
  When I was informed by Stefan Hepe about this triple new album of theirs, I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical at first. It sounded like a very ambitious piece of work and I had no idea how the final outcome will sound like.
The Clockwork Fable was officially released just a few days ago and I must admit that it is really unique and superb!
  The CD comes in a wonderful triple Digi-pack package, including a huge amount of information regarding the story of the album. I can’t even start to imagine how many hours they spent over this project and the story-building. But the least I can do is to congratulate them for their efforts!
The Clockwork Fable is a triple concept album, which lasts for almost 3 hours. The main story behind it is a really interesting one, and the very detailed booklet really helps a lot with the information that includes.
  It is kind of a “theatrical” album I dare say, since there are a lot of storytelling pieces included, which are actually ALL the even numbers. 1,3,5,7 and so on… I found this fact very interesting and unique to be honest. That way, not only you get to know the story as it evolves, but also creates a “bond” between the songs.
  As for the songs, well… It is very difficult to start mentioning the songs separately, since I consider them as small parts of a very big project. 

 I will only mention some of the album’s finest moments, which are: Shadowborn, The Lamplighter (Parts I – XIII), Eve’s song, At the sign of the Aperture and many more.
There are many guest musicians participating here, with the biggest names being the ones of Arjen Lucassen and Blaze Bayley (ex-Iron Maiden).
  There is no reason to continue writing, because it is impossible to understand what I’m talking about, if you don’t listen to the album by yourselves.
Concluding this, I would like to congratulate the guys of Gandalf’s Fist once more, and say that The Clockwork Fable already occupied one position in my yearly Top-10 album list.
As for my rating, hmmm, this is tough. I usually don’t give 5 stars, but only on very few occasions. On the other hand 4 stars seems little for this album. 
So, I will rate it with 4.5 stars.
                  Give it a try, you will not regret it!
                       Highly Recommended!
The next piece is taken out of the album’s booklet:

“The Clockwork Fable” is the second release for Gandalf’s Fist as a four-piece and leads you into the dark and steamy city of Cogtopolis, a city beneath the surface, the once safe shelter for postapocalyptic mankind, now a microcosmos following its own crude laws, rules and religions. The album chronicles the story of a few reluctant heroes, rising up and trying to flee the golden cage they call their life whilst also featuring exciting musical contributions from Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon), Blaze Bayley (former Iron Maiden), Dave Oberlé (Gryphon) and Matt Stevens (The Fierce and the Dead) as well as voice-acting contributions by well-known actors such as Mark Benton (Dr. Who), Zach Galligan (Gremlins) and Bill Fellows (Downton Abbey) amongst many others. Also appearing, as a three-albums-in-a-row achievement, is Melissa Hollick singing the female character of Eve.