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Ex Tenebris

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 20, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Sacrament shows the maturity of the band. Perhaps a bit heavier than before but with all their trademark ingredients in place, White Willow will easily once again capture the attention of progressive rock fans around the world. Imagine a blend of The Ga

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Leaving The House Of Thanatos
  2. The Book Of Love
  3. Soteriology
  4. Helen And Simon Magus
  5. Thirteen Days
  6. A Strange Procession...
  7. ...A Dance Of Shadows


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 20, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Laser's Edge
  • ASIN: B00000BIF9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,059,286 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By IcemanJ VINE VOICE on August 19, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD contains some of the sweetest melodies and songs White Willow has ever written. It is mostly calm, compared to Sacrament, which has a few roaring guitar parts. White Willow somehow has the power to write songs so uplifting, they might hypnotize you or put you in a trance, or just make you think of memories that make you laugh or cry, or smile. What a perfect album to listen to while watching a springtime morning sunrise in Norway (which is where they are from if you didn't know), or running and laughing in fields and meadows with fountains and butterflies and flowers and waterfalls and happy bunneys and rainbows and perfect temperature at midnight but it is still light out, because you are in Norway in early summer, land of the midnight sun. Sorry I got carried away...
The Opener "Leaving the House of Thanatos" contains nostalgic, psychedelic mellotrons that form a unique melody. It shifts through haunting and warm, joyful melodies. Sylvia's vocals are exceptionally outstanding. There are also more vocals other than Sylvia's on this album. "The book of Love" is mostly an astounding duet with male and female vocals, impressively harmonized. This charming ballad contains a flute solo and calm acoustic guitars.
"Soteriology" opens with a medieval acoustic guitar and soft piano melody, and suddenly transforms into faint organs in the background. If anyone walks into the room at this moment they might think you are listening to church music, which this sounds remarkably similar to, but this is way more beautiful than anything you'll hear in church. Sylvia's has almost opera-like vocals, which echo throughout the tranquil organ melody, which keeps blossoming and growing like springtime flowers.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
At first listen I was disappointed. Very disappointed. So, I re-read all the reviews I had visited prior to the purchase and came to the conclusion I was acting impatiently. The next test was one of intimacy. I downloaded to my Ipod and while working treated myself to this White Willow recording. It was 1st in the que and where I was at the time allowed me to hear wonderful the CD. My listening experience was profound. Like "Ignis Fatuus" I was spellbound by the overall majesty of the album. What bothered me in my 1st listen didn't exist for me in the second, isolated listen. These very talented Norwegians have accomplished something unique. Distinguishable from the pack. A stand alone classic. I'm very glad I took the various reviewers advice and made the purchase. For lovers of Progressive Rock... Folkish and artful. A gorgeous addition to my growing Progressive Rock library. My Suggestion: Forget the library. Buy it. Play it. Love it.
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Format: Audio CD
I like White Willow a lot. Hailing from Norway, they are bar none among of the best prog bands to enter the scene in the 90s, even considering some pretty stiff competition. They are a imaginative group calling on different influences than their peers, mentioning in their liner notes the eternal inspiration of King Crimson, Nick Drake, and Blue Oyster Cult. Rather than pepper their songs with pop hooks and cheesy virtuosity, White Willow embraces mood, dark atmospheres, and delicate beauty. Instrumentation consists of guitar (mostly acoustic, with electric guitar solos and some other electric parts), flute, synthesizer/mellotron, bass, and drums (masterfully played by Anglagard's Mattias Olsson -- this guy is pretty incredible). The first two songs' lead vocals are sung by Jan Tariq Rahman, "Thirteen Days" by Asa Eklund, and the others (excepting the instrumental "A Strange Procession...") Sylvia Erichsen.
There has been a definite sense of development in White Willow's music thus far, from their first album _Ignus Fatuus_ to their most recent _Sacrament_. The music has grown more dynamic and far-reaching. All have been excellent, although I like this one the most so far. This album has a mellow "prog sound" but it never succumbs to any "White Willow prog formula" if you know what I mean. This is fresh stuff.
"Leaving the House of Thanatos" is an amazing, melancholy epic. It opens with a pastoral acoustic guitar and eerie synths blossoming in the background like will-o'-the-wisps passing through the nighttime forest. Then a synth's ivory beam of light sketches the beautiful main theme. A heavy bass vamp and sharp snare crack sunders this peace with and a baroque vocal line. The melody is unusual and haunting.
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Format: Audio CD
Unlike most modern progressive rock bands bands, While Willow IS progressive. Where other bands just end up being regressive White Willow is innovative, but there is never any doubt where they get their inspiration from. The music of Willow is deeply rooted in the tradition of 70's progrock bands like King Crimson, Genesis.... but White Willow never end up like sound-a-likes or clones. The music can best be described as dark and introvert symhonic rock. The lyrics reminds me in a way of William Blakes lyrics, probably because of it gnostic tendencies. All the musicians on the record is great, especially lead singer Sylvia Erichsen. If you you like dark symphonic rock this is THE band for you. Jørgen
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