Imagine, if you would, a period in the mistiness of time when troops of wandering musicians would travel solemnly around the countryside, through forest glades and medieval habitats seeking their refuge and sustenance in exchange for song and merriment. Well these are the kind of strong images that come to mind in listening to this offering from 'Shadygrove'.
Generally the music follows the same kind of Old English / Celtic Style rhythmic patterns and folk musical arrangements as 'Blackmore's Night.' The 'Shady Grove' sound though is much more heavily stamped with the Celtic folky richness of the violin. These fiddle arrangements being the predominant instrumental accompaniment, as opposed for example to 'Blakemore's Night's' penchant for acoustic and electric guitar leads. This expressive earthy melodic fiddle output swathes and dances its way throughout the whole album and is turn backed up with some excellent and quite majestic combinations of energetic percussive connotations which provide the solid platform from which the music ebbs and flows. Completing the Celtic brew of instrumental sound are injections of beautiful flutes with other guitar and keyboard interactions adding charm and ethnic grace to the proceedings. In addition and quite different from the Celtic theme but totally integral to the mood of the music is the range of deliciously applied keyboard accompaniments particularly the beautiful piano sequences that are scattered throughout the various tracks.
However, the first thing that grabs your attention with 'Shady Groves' music are the totally enchanting high pitched female vocals which predominately start of the individual tracks as solo exaltations' but which do later combine and entwine together as the second voice joins in to provide some simply wonderful two part descant melodic harmonies. There is too a wide variation in the self-penned all original material inasmuch that the songs range from the slower ballad style songs to much more up-tempo numbers. There is no doubt that the music on this CD is sufficiently diverse and so beautifully structured that it easily meets the criteria to be featured on the "Progplanet" progressive rock website platform. It is interesting too that the makeup of this Italian band features members of Elvenking, Sound Storm and Evenoire.
Summary: For aficionados of progressive folk this is an essential album for any such collection and one which will be a frequent visitor to your CD deck.
Cover Art: Colourful, interesting and comprehensive.
Simone Morettin - Drums, Ethnic Percussions
Fabio "Lethien" Polo - Violin (From 'Elvenking')
Lisy Stefanoni - Vocals, Flute (From 'Evenoire')
Matteo Comar - Guitar
Davide Papa - Bass)
Elena Crolle - Keyboards (From 'Sound Strorm')
1. Scarlet Wood (4:37)
2. My Silver Seal (5;56)
3. The Port Of Lisbon (3:42)
4. Eve Of Love (5:30)
5. This Is The Night (5:18)
6. Cydonia (4:39)
7. Northern Lights (5:56)
8. Let The Candle Burn (5:27)
9. Queen Of Amber (6:02)
Album Length: 47:12
"Information supplied on Rockshot Record Press Release"
1.Violinist Fabio 'Lethien' Polo describes SHADYGROVE's sound as "folk, ethnic, acoustic Celtic pop. We are trying to bring the popular music of our regions, mixed with Celtic and Medieval music, to a more modern view without altering its soul. We write very evocative songs to guide the listener on a journey to where nature still rules."
2. Singer Lisy Stefanoni explains SHADYGROVE's inspirations. "We love the different styles of folk music and the various approaches of the main musicians. We also love the Celtic music. In the metal genre, folk metal inspires us the most. We listen to bands like Eluveitie, In Extremo, also symphonic projects like Ayreon and The Gentle Storm. Those who love folk-metal will certainly appreciate our songs because we all come from that musical background. We take our fans on a journey to a place where myths are real and there is evidence of the magic forces of our planet. In this world the listener can meet legendary creatures walking into enchanted landscapes or see ancient rituals happening."