The Dream Harbour (WGCD003, 2013)
The Dream Harbour has all the ingredients to please fans of symphonic progressive rock, from the exquisite melodies and arrangements to the fantasy artwork by Lee Gaskins. Willowglass is the progressive rock project of English multi-instrumentalist and composer Andrew Marshall. He plays guitars, keyboards and bass.
Om the guitar side, Marshall is deeply influenced by Genesis guitarists Anthony Phillips and early Genesis. Marshall is also a great fan of the mellotron and uses it extensively throughout the album, creating mesmerizing atmospheres.
Willowglass features two additional musicians who provide formidable work: Hans Jörg Schmitz on drums and percussion; and Steve Unruh on violin, flute and guitar. Hans Jörg Schmitz is a skilled drummer who is best known for his progressive rock project called King Of Agogik. Steve Unruh is an excellent multi-instrumentalist who has numerous solo recordings and has also recorded as member of the bands Resistor and The Samurai of Prog. Unruh’s background is progressive rock, jazz and progressive folk.
The Dream Harbour begins with a 20 minute suite titled A House of Cards Part 1. Despite the length, the piece seems more like a collage of great instrumental pieces rather than the traditional symphonic rock epic. On A House of Cards Part 1 and 2 Marshall creates interesting keyboard and guitar interactions with Unruh’s violin and flutes.
Interlude No. 2 is a delightful evocative acoustic guitar piece that takes into folk-rooted progressive rock that Anthony Phillips spearheaded. It’s followed by The Dream Harbour, where the mellotron, synthesizers and flute create a magical atmosphere.
The acoustic guitars return in Helleborine intertwined with delectable mellotron and flute.
The album ends with The Face Of Eurydice, a piece with an epic feel highlighted by electric guitars, flute and violin wrapped with majestic mellotron.
The Dream Harbour is an ambitious and beautiful album of new progressive rock inspired by classic symphonic rock.
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