This is not a new album; but at the same time, it is! How is that possible?
Let me explain…
Once upon a time, Gandalf’s Fist was a duo, and with the help of synthesizers, they were doing everything by themselves; plus a drum machine.
In 2013 they released this album, which was a concept one. It was a very good effort, but it needed something more in order to be characterized as a really good album. (Personally speaking, I am usually bothered by the sound of drum machines). But as it seemed, the sales went well, and finally the CD was sold out. So, instead of making a second pressing of the album, they decided to go into the studio and re-record it; and that was a very wise decision! Because the band now is more “mature” than before, and now they also have a real drummer instead of a drum machine. The addition of Stefan Heppe on drums, improved the band’s dynamic a lot without a doubt.
But that’s not all. Almost all the songs are improved, a 11-minute-long epic is added, and I think that the production and the mix are better. I am not a studio expert, but this version sounds a lot better to my ears.
On the top of everything else, the narration parts between the songs are lovely, and give to the listener a “massive” feeling. The band decided to repeat the “recipe” they used in The Clockwork Fable, and they succeeded!
Another very important element of the album is that they replaced the keyboard-string parts, with real strings, like Cello and Violin for example.
If you have the 2013 version of this album, you should definitely try this one. It will sound familiar, but at the same time different and better by far.
If you don’t have the old version, don’t even bother to find it. This new one is a wonderful piece of work, starting from the – new designed – cover, up to the last detail. I never rated the original version, but I think that I could give something like 3.5 out of 5.0 stars.
As for this version, I think that I will give 4.5 stars.
Favorite songs: The nine billion names of God, Stowaway to the mushroom planet, Somewhere beyond the stars, The battle for Tannhouser gate. (I like almost all the songs in the album, but these are the ones I like the most).
Try this album, you will not regret it!