White Willow – Terminal Twilight

28 10 2011

White Willow - "Terminal Twilight"I must admit, I’d not heard any of this Norwegian band’s music before, though I did buy the Night Blooms album by The Opium Cartel (another project from White Willow’s Jacob Holm-Lupo) but I was keen to hear the album due to the involvement of no-man’s Tim Bowness on the track Kansas Regrets.

The album appears to be based on an end-of-the world concept (a progressive concept album, oh no I hear you cry!), but it works well. Yes, it’s a very progressive album, awash with retro synths, mellotrons and shifting time signatures, all trademark progressive tools, but it’s also made up of some very strong songs and one of the best productions I’ve heard so far this year.

The albums second track Snowswept is driven by a powerful drum track and a crystal-clear vocal from the bands singer, Sylvia Erichsen.  The third track is co-written by Tim Bowness, who takes over lead vocal duties on Kansas Regrets.  The most acoustic, and at the same time probably the least progressive sounding track on the album, Kansas Regrets is a highlight nonetheless.

“Those country boys just left you cold
The local girls they acted old.”

The track features some gorgeous vocal harmonies and lovely harmonics scattered amongst the guitar playing.  Have a listen to the full song in the video below, which was  filmed, edited and directed by Dion Johnson.

If you are a fan of Bowness or no-man, Kansas Regrets will probably be the track that appeals to you straight away.  If you have any appreciation of progressive music, and the wide, colourful musical palette used in this genre, Terminal Twilight will quickly become one of your most cherished albums.

Red Leaves is streamed in full on the White Willow website – I’ve added a link below.

Red leaves by White Willow

There are times (especially on this track) when I’m reminded of Jeff Wayne’s War of The Worlds album from 1978, though the story on the White Willow album is told through the lyrics and the music only, no need for narration and so thankfully no appearances from David Essex required!  Some wonderful Gilmouresque guitar solos round off Red Leaves.

Floor 67 is fast becoming my favourite track on the album.  The lyrics really set the mood on this track, and capture the feeling of isolation and despair, as the apocalyptic weather destroys all in its wake, whilst the subjects of the song try to ride out the storm living in their own world, stocked up with alcohol in a high-rise building.

“But we stayed on through the winter
As the empire crashed and burned
And we heard the world grow quiet
And the voice on the radio said its goodbye.”

The chorus is very moving and I love the way the song ends, with snatches of ghostlike voices, almost like lost radio transmissions.

The mostly instrumental Natasha of the Burning Woods leads into the longest track on Terminal Twilight, the 13 minute Searise, the heaviest track on the album, which lyrically hints at the outcome of the song subjects quest for survival. Terminal Twilight closes with A Rumour of Twilight, a drone / acoustic guitar led instrumental piece.

So a new group for me to investigate, and a surprising contender to become one of my favourite albums of 2011.

Tracklisting:

Hawks Circle the Mountain
Snowswept
Kansas Regrets
Red Leaves
Floor 67
Natasha of the Burning Woods
Searise
A Rumour of Twilight

Buy Terminal Twilight at Amazon UK
Buy Terminal Twilight at Amazon US
Buy Terminal Twilight from The Burning Shed

http://www.whitewillow.info/

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6 responses

28 12 2011
End of Year Favourites « Mr Kinski's Music Shack

[…] White Willow – Terminal Twlight […]

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6 11 2013
The Opium Cartel – Ardor | Mr Kinski's Music Shack

[…] Ardor is the second album from The Opium Cartel, an outlet for the more pop orientated music of songwriter/producer Jacob Holm-Lupo from Norway’s art-rock band White Willow. […]

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25 09 2014
White Willow – Sacrament (Expanded Edition) | Mr Kinski's Music Shack

[…] band’s most recent album, 2011’s Terminal Twilight, is one of my favourite albums of the past few years, so I’ve found it interesting to […]

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2 01 2015
White Willow – Storm Season (Expanded Edition) | Mr Kinski's Music Shack

[…] White Willow album (and one of my favourite progressive album’s of all time) is 2011’s Terminal Twilight. A taster of the new White Willow album is due in January 2015, visit the band’s website and […]

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20 02 2015
White Willow – Animal Magnetism (digital single) | Mr Kinski's Music Shack

[…] is the first new music from Norway’s prog heavyweights White Willow since the wonderful Terminal Twilight album in 2011. The single is a cover of a song from German heavy rock band, The […]

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6 03 2017
White Willow – Future Hopes | Mr Kinski's Music Shack

[…] Hopes is the follow up to the mighty Terminal Twilight from 2011 (one of this blogs earliest reviews)- so its been a long wait for new music from White […]

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