Band: Gandalf’s Fist
Label: Independent Release (2016)
Rating: Very pleasing listen with Heavy Rock to Symphonic moments
Well this is quite the re-issue. I use the term since this album originally came out in 2016 and is currently “celebrating” a two year anniversary of its release. As such it’s the first of three concept albums that tell the tale of The Clockwork Fable. Subtitled Act 1: The Day the Great Cog Failed we’re treated to eleven compositions and a nicely packed sixty-seven minutes of music and story that tells a Steam-Punkish tale of some grand experiment that seems to have a few bugs in it. Guest artists include Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon), Blaze Bayley (Ex-Iron Maiden), Matt Stevens (The Fierce and the Dead) and Dave Oberlé (Gryphon). The album also featured the voice acting talents of the likes of Mark Benton (Waterloo Road) and Zach Galligan (Gremlins) among others. Because it’s a story expect to hear lots of exposition and in fact there are lots of extended narrative segments that help create atmosphere. Multiple vocalists, male and female contribute to the atmosphere as well. Musically The Clockwork Fable incorporates everything from heavy rock to symphonic very much like the dramatic stage production it hints at being. There are some absolutely great musical themes that appear and reappear and that’s one of the things I liked most. While stressing the melodic side of the music, many of these compositions don’t always follow traditional structure which allows for the music to stretch out and do the unexpected all in service of the story. This is a record that fits quite nicely alongside albums like Jeff Wayne’s War of the World, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita or others like that. It’s not a Prog Metal record and that was another thing I liked about it. That and it’s kind of a FUN record to listen to. The story is fanciful, light and yet engaging. Great record, lots of variety and I look forward to Act 2.