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Brons, Dave: Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

Music should move us, lift our spirits, make us dance, but it should have an effect. Multi-instrumentalist Dave Brons mission for his music is to transport the listener to “Middle Earth”, and offer an escape from the pressures of daily life. Brons draws on his love of JRR Tolkien for inspiration throughout Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost. The album’s title is taken from The Lord of the Rings books, a quote from Strider, and relates to the albums theme of exploration.

A mostly instrumental album filled with soaring melodies, majestic cinematic orchestral sections, blended with a touch of Celtic flair. There are moments where you can imagine this music in the Lord of the Rings movies, it’s truly epic. The vast dynamic range of the compositions accentuates the soft and subtle moments, and brings the heavier sections alive. Opening with a short narration (which is sprinkled throughout), “The Song of Illuvatar” unfolds into an atmospheric track of ethereal vocals, orchestration and guitar. The Celtic sounds permeate this track as it begins to transition, and then a much heavier guitar crunch takes us into “Ea”. If you listen along with the accompanying booklet, Brons goes into detail about the inspiration and backing story for each track. The contrast in “Ea” comes from a beautiful piano melody that breaks the tension created from the harsh opening. Brons guitar style (often accompanied by traditional Celtic pipes and whistles) employs tapping and whammy bar to recreate those Celtic tones. Brons is a most capable guitarist; sweeping fast legato runs counter his wonderful melodies adding muscle to the music. Almost each song is its own mini-epic with all the varied instrumentation, as in “Into The Perilous Realm” which was written to express a floating and restless quality. “Awakened By Starlight” is another gorgeous piano intro that builds up with guitar and female vocals to dramatic effect. A folkish guitar, whistle and violin lead us through “Under The Same Sun”, which builds adding instrumentation and morphs into a more aggressive track. “The Shire: A Long Expected Party” breaks out into a folk/rock extravaganza, and Brons gets to show his formidable chops. A more ominous feel opens “The Pass of Caradrahas”, with bits of narration, and some recurring themes. “A Prayer For The Fallen” is a simple, haunting; reverb drenched piano melody accompanied by those ethereal female vocals, absolutely stunning in its execution, and is probably my favorite musical moment. “The Riders of Rohan” and “Minas Morgul” (taking a more experimental approach) build the anxiety which peaks with “The Ringbearers”. The final three tracks begin to lift the spirit, taking on a more celebratory tone as it reaches the end with “White Shores and a Swift Sunrise”.

I have spent a lot of time with this CD, and the more I listen, the more I like it. Brons has assembled a cast of great musicians to achieve his musical vision. In my assessment, Brons succeeds in his goal of transporting the listener with his musical interpretation of Tolkien’s masterwork, and in the process created his own. Bravo!

Track List:
1. The Song of Illuvatar 04:56
2. EA 06:09
3. Into the Perilous Realm 05:10
4. Awakened by Starlight 06:19
5. Under the Same Sun 05:02
6. The Shire : A long expected party 04:46
7. The Pass of Caradhras 03:36
8. A Prayer for the Fallen 02:11
9. The Riders of Rohan 04:18
10. Minas Morgul 04:30
11. The Ring Bearers 06:56
12. The Houses of Healing 03:50
13. All The End of All Things 03:35
14. White Shores and a Swift Sunrise 06:03

Added: April 25th 2021
Reviewer: Eric Porter
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 258
Language: english

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