Robert de Fresness - Piano, Background Vocals|
The Nordic Suite
- The return of the longships
The Suite of the Ancients
- A new dawn
- The canfle that never dies
- The willow
The Suite of the Americas
- The eagle dancers
- The changing woman
- Let your dreams guide your soul
Nik Smith - Guitar
Catherine Foster - Vocals
Lusia - Vocals, Background Vocals
Chris Theobald - Narrator
Robert's debut album Atlantis…? was very good and held a lot of promise for the future. Happily, his second album, Mythology, fulfills that promise. It is divided into three suites:"The Nordic Suite", "The Suite of the Ancients", and "The Suite of the Americas", representing different aspects of the mythology theme, and each suite covers three tracks.
There's a new-agey feel to the first track, "Runecasting", due to the subject of the spoken words, but don't let that put you off! It starts off with thunder and a Gregorian style chant. It seems that Gregorian chant has become a kind of musical cliché since Enigma came along, but it often works well. There's a lot of vocal elements on this track as it also has a voiceover talking about runes (incidentally the guy doing this sounds a little like Alec Guinness), and a lovely female voice. An exciting beat and rhythm forms the bedrock of the track, eventually closing with the chant, thunder, and a piano melody. The tempo is shifted down a gear or two in the second track which introduces an acoustic and electric guitar into the mix; the electric guitar is used to good effect without being overwhelming. A female voice sings about the return of longships, making one imagine women waiting for their menfolk to return from a voyage to distant lands.
After this comes the final track of "The Nordic Suite", which is of a similar tempo and again has an acoustic guitar, this time accompanied by a rolling piano melody. An electric guitar with a decidedly Pink Floyd feel begins "The Suite of the Ancients" and leads the track at a similar pace to the preceding two. Underneath is a simple easygoing rhythm on drums, with synths adding washes and other sounds.
Next is "The Candle That Never Dies", complemented by some non-word female vocals. A fairly up tempo beat is augmented by synths and a piano. Again, everything fits together splendidly.
The suite is completed by "The Willow", another fairly acoustic track with a female voice. A gentle synth along with a knocking noise, and then bird sounds, opens up the last suite. This slowly builds up, being joined by a piano before it turns into a lively beat with some Native American style chanting. An electric guitar and synths are also there creating another well crafted track combining different musical and vocal elements. However, I found this suite to be the least engaging - there weren't any surprises at this stage and the style didn't appeal as much as in the first two suites.
Although the album contains vocals of some kind on all the tracks I would still class it under adult contemporary music as they don't predominate. As an almost lifelong fan of instrumental music I really enjoyed it and am eagerly awaiting his next album.
Thankfully, and unlike some artists, he hasn't followed up one album with something too similar.
This man has a lot of musical talent and I believe his best work is probably yet to come.