This is my first experience with Norway's White Willow, and it's been, well, a different one. Their fifth album, Terminal Twilight, is a trippy journey through jazz-rock fusion mixed with seminal 70's prog, a decent portion of improvisation, and a sometimes orchestral motif. It's King Crimson and Weather Report, Genesis and Muse, in a heavily eclectic and ethereal mixture of synthesizers, electronics, sparse but able guitar, stirring and strong bass lines, and perky explorative drumming. In a bit more than one hour of playing times, what long strange trip it's been.
Frankly, I don't think I'll ever know if I like it or not. But Terminal Twilight is certainly interesting, sometimes skirting the line between profound and inexplicable. And so it's also not that easily accessible. Such is the case with art, even experimental, rock. Yet sometimes the song is self-explanatory by the music as with Hawk's Circle. The ethereal abundance of synths allows your mind to picture the majestic bird in flight. But, realizing the inherent mystery to White Willow's music, the music may have nothing to do with this one bit.
While in not sure I 'get' everything that is going on here, nor wonder whether I should. There's a degree of palatability to Red Leaves, Searise, and the best cut, Floor 67 simply because the arrangements can be put under the umbrella of progressive rock, and that I get. These arrangements swell with an ambitious confluence of misdirection, only to create a pleasing whole. Then again the simplicity of vocals over acoustic guitar and other mellow props as on Kansas Regrets or the basic instrumental of A Rumor of Twilight are hardly enigmatic.
White Willow's Terminal Twilight is a treatise in adventurous music, prog meets art rock meets orchestral and electronics in a perplexing and intriguing milieu. This is certainly not for the faint of heart or those stumbling over the next fluffy, sugar-coated, current music trend.
White Willow's Terminal Twilight is a treatise in adventurous music, prog meets art rock meets orchestral and electronics in a perplexing and intriguing milieu.
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