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Norwegian White Willow is a new acquaintance to me, although they've been around for quite a while already (started out in the mid-nineties). Storm Season is their fourth album, and heaviest to date. Originally they played folk rock, but since then they became Norway's most prominent progrock band. Thus it isn't surprising that White Willow is Laser's Edge's best selling progressive rock band.
The music of White Willow is rather influence-rich — actually the members of the band are involved in various projects (for example, jazz/electronica pioneers Jaga Jazzist, psychedelic rock group Motorpsycho and symphonic rockers Wobbler). Therefore it isn't surprising that White Willow's music is quite diverse. The soft, pastoral sound based around female vocals, mellotron, woodwinds and acoustic guitars is still present on 'Storm Season', but in addition they have flavoured their "old" sound with heavier rock approach. The result is somewhat unique-sounding (thus refreshing) progrock/metal band.
The bandleader Jacob Holm-Lupo produced this album. For the most part, the sounds are highly felicitous. Also the mastering, which was handled by Alan Douches of West West Side Music, has been carried out with proficiency.
Listeners of Progressive Art Rock as well as Metal audiences might find White Willow worth getting acquainted with. There's a small amount of the Gathering, King Crimson, Ayreon, Zen Rock and Roll, Black Sabbath and the like in White Willow's music. Thus their music should be quite easily approachable for the masses.
There's a sample of "Insomnia" on the Laser's Edge website for you to listen.
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- MAGE (February 18th, 2005)
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