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Clive Nolan & Oliver Wakeman: Dark Fables

The keyboard duo of Clive Nolan (Arena, Pendragon) and Oliver Wakeman have been collaborating since the late 90’s. Dark Fables represents their third release which originally was to be based on Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” following their pattern of putting novels to music. Their previous record company declined to fund this project, but Nolan and Wakeman decided to move forward with fewer guests and a less elaborate overall approach. Searching through their material, both found quite a bit of music that has gone unused over the years from their previous projects. In addition, over 30 minutes of music which had been written for Frankenstein was used.

The music is keyboard based, fans of symphonic progressive music will find themselves right at home. The CD flows as if you were watching a play, instrumental passages, dramatic vocals, and changes in tone and moods occur often. This obviously wont flow like their previous releases Jabberwocky and The Hound of the Baskervilles but it does have the same feel. The music is bombastic and over the top, and I find their instrumentals and subtle moments to be a real strength. “The Wedding Approaches” features acoustic guitar from Gordon Giltrap, Tim Nunes (violin) and beautiful vocals from Charlotte Dickerson. My favorite tracks are the instrumentals; “Elizabeth”, “Overture” and “A Descent Into Madness”. Oliver’s father Rick makes an appearance reading the words of Lewis Carroll for “The Jabberwocky” to end the CD.

The talent is instantly recognizeable, and both obviously enjoy working together as this partnership has been ongoing for some 20 years. Dark Fables may not flow as well as their previous collaborations, but just like the Frankenstein monster, these songs were stitched together to create something new, and I am sure fans will be happy to add this one to their collection.

Track List:
1. The Overture
2. I’d Give You Anything
3. The Mirror
4. Elizabeth
5. Why Do You Hate Me?
6. The Wedding Approaches
7. Time Passes
8. A Descent Into Madness
9. 221B
10. The Man Called Sherlock
11. The Baker Street Irregulars
12. The Jabberwocky

Added: February 20th 2022
Reviewer: Eric Porter
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 359
Language: english

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