WHITE WILLOW

"Signal To Noise" (Laser's Edge; 2006)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

For years I’ve heard of White Willow’s important place in the history of progressive rock – yet I’d never had the opportunity to hear the band’s music.

White Willow’s progression over the last decade is well documented so I’ll only summarize here: the band’s brand of laid back, atmospheric, folk-tinged progressive rock has evolved over the course of four albums to include heavier guitars and electronics. However, White Willow has never gotten so heavy as to be confused with recent efforts by Lacuna Coil or even the pop, quasi-metal meanderings of Evanescence as the public’s fascination with operatic female vocals expands exponentially.

“Signal To Noise” features nine tracks covering a journey lasting over 51 minutes. Three epic songs make up a majority of the album’s musical thrust and highlight the band’s progressive bent. The shorter tracks feature the kind of vocal hooks and melodies that could find their way onto commercial radio if it weren’t for the myopic, corporate, profit-driven program directors that limit musical choices over the airwaves. These shorter and more digestible tracks (for lack of a better phrase) also feature the same ornate instrumentation and stellar production as the epic tracks.

Those of you who might have been enamored with recent efforts from The Gathering and the like in the past four or five years might wish to pursue the challenging, adventurous, and ultimately satisfying path taken by White Willow.

“Signal To Noise” was produced by Tommy Hansen and White Willow. “Signal To Noise” is one of the best sounding CDs to arrive in 2006.

White Willow: Trude Eidtang on lead vocals, Jacob Holm-Lupo on guitars, Lars Fredrik Froislie on keyboards and electronics, Marthe Berger Walthinsen on bass, Ketil Vestrum Einarsen on woodwinds, and Aage Moltke Schou on drums.

For more information visit http://www.whitewillow.org/

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08 Oct 2017 14:52:20 -0400.