I abandoned Gandalf’s music many years back as I found out over and over again the intriguing magical scent gracing his early work was no longer present: it had become too sweet and New Age instead. This time around multi-instrumentalist Heinz Strobl is joined by Theologos Michellis (Violin), Nicky Eggl (Irish Whistles & Nyckelharpa), Peter Aschenbrenner ( Irish Whistles & Bodhran), Merike Hilmar (Cello) and his son Christian Strobl (Darabuka & Udu) along female singer Eva Novak.
I can’t say I’m that fond of the female wordless vocals of the latter -recalling vaguely Lisa Gerrard- featured on 4 of the 12 tracks on this album and already heard on opener “Bound to Live Free”. Sonically, the folk-flavoured, sweet music features only a minor dose of synths in spite of violin, piano, flute and assorted percussion. Fortunately Gandalf’s characteristic electric guitar pops up a couple of times. But after 62-minutes it’s far too less to my ears to call this result pleasant or interesting.
You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Gandalf artist page
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