Gandalf’s Fist reveal guest list for new album ‘The Clockwork Fable’

Gandalfs Fist Clockwork Fable preorder art

Gandalf’s Fist have revealed the guest list of vocalists and musicians who have contributed to their forthcoming new album, The Clockwork Fable.

The triple-disc LP is set to feature musical performances from Ayreon’s Arjen Lucassen, Dave Oberle of Gryphon, Matt Stevens of The Fierce And The Dead and former Iron Maiden singer Blaze Bayley.

The news comes soon after the band confirmed the names of a host of performers who have played dramatic speaking roles on the release, including Gremlins star Zach Galligan, Early Doors actor Mark Benton and Doctor Who cast member Tim Munro.

Says Gandalf’s Fist frontman Dean Marsh: “It was a real privilege to work with Dave and Matt again, having produced something really special working with them both on the last album. I think we’ve gone one better this time!

“It’s also fantastic to have Arjen on board – it must be nice for him to join an ensemble of musicians for a change, and his performance is simply faultless.

“We approached Blaze early on in the production, so it’s great to finally announce his participation. Playing the sung part of The Primarch, he really bosses a 10-minute epic. It sounds huge and I can’t wait for it to blast everyone’s socks off.”

Lucassen adds: “I had so much fun – the music really inspired me. It really brought out the inner-Gilmour in me, and I guess it turned out quite Floydy. Thanks to Gandalf’s Fist for asking me to be a part of it.”

The Clockwork Fable is set for release on the 1st of May and will feature cover art by Thomas Huth, the man who also created the artwork for Gandalf’s Fist’s 2014 album, A Forest Of Fey.

The Clockwork Fable is available to pre-order now.

Choir
Dean Marsh – the good people of Cogtopolis
Luke Severn – the Nightkeepers
Arjen Lucassen – Armistead
Blaze Bayley – The Primarch
Dave Oberle – Pastor Simon
Melissa Hollick – Eve

Players
Mark Benton – The Lamplighter / Prison Guard / First Secretary
Zach Gilligan – The Steam Ranger
Tim Munro – The Tinker
Alicia Marsh – Eve
Paul Barnhill – Pastor Simon
Bill Fellows – Armistead / Nightkeeper Spy
Paul Kavanagh – The Primarch / Nightkeeper 1
Chris Ewen – The Boy
Luke Severn – Second Secretary / Nightkeeper 2

Orchestra
Dean Marsh
Chris Ewen
Stefan Hepe
Matt Stevens
Dave Oberle

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Gandalf’s Fist name dramatic voice cast for new triple album ‘The Clockwork Fable’

Gandalfs Fist

Gandalf’s Fist have named the dramatic voice cast who will feature on their new triple album.

Those set to make appearances on The Clockwork Fable include Gremlins star Zach Galligan, Early Doors actor Mark Benton and Doctor Who cast member Tim Munro. The collection will also feature performances from Paul Barnhill, Bill Fellows and Paul Kavanagh, plus the return of collaborator Alicia Marsh.

Says Gandalf’s Fist frontman Dean Marsh: “We’re over the moon to announce Mark Benton has become a part of our weird and wonderful world. He has been instrumental in getting this album to the level it is, so we’d like to send him a massive thanks.”

“Every single person I’ve met in this process has been warm, welcoming and enthusiastic for what we’re trying to do. I can’t wait for everyone to hear Bill Fellows berating a sentient clockwork infant about festival supplies,” he adds.

Zach Galligan says of the news: “I’ve always wanted to be on a concept album, so I was thrilled when Gandalf’s Fist asked me to contribute to their exciting new work. I just hope that I did the piece justice.”

Tim Munro adds: “I’ve been in Doctor Who twice in my career but playing the Tinkerman tops it. It was a terrific script to match the brilliant music – Gandalf’s Fist have created an underground maze of a world that will draw the audience into its complexity.”

Announcing the new album’s title last month, Gandalf’s Fist described the new collection: “Set in the fictional world of Cogtopolis, each CD serves as a different act of the story, with Dean Marsh and Luke Severn, along with to-be-announced guest vocalists, providing the singing voices of the inhabitants.”

“A far cry from a musical, where characters burst into song at the drop of a proverbial hat, The Clockwork Fable serves as a sprawling motion picture that will play out in your neocortex with Gandalf’s Fist, of course, providing the soundtrack.”

An official release date for The Clockwork Fable has yet to be confirmed, but pre-orders for the new album are open now, with those who buy early saving 20% on the full price of the new release.

The dramatic cast for The Clockwork Fable is:

Mark Benton: The Lamplighter
Zach Galligan: The Steam Ranger
Tim Munro: The Tinker
Alicia Marsh: Eve
Paul Barnhill: Pastor Simon
Bill Fellows: Armistead/Nightkeeper Spy
Paul Kavanagh: The Primarch

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Gandalf’s Fist announce new triple album ‘The Clockwork Fable’

Gandalfs Fist

Gandalf’s Fist have revealed that their new album will be titled The Clockwork Fable.

Describing it as “the finest work” that they have have recorded, it is set to be released as a triple LP.

Say the group: “We are delighted to announce The Clockwork Fable, a prog-rock mind movie in three oscillations. As a follow-up to A Forest Of Fey, we’ve gone all-out, creating a truly epic triple concept album.

“Set in the fictional world of Cogtopolis, each CD serves as a different act of the story, with Dean Marsh and Luke Severn, along with to-be-announced guest vocalists, providing the singing voices of the inhabitants.”

They add: “A far cry from a musical, where characters burst into song at the drop of a proverbial hat, The Clockwork Fable serves as a sprawling motion picture that will play out in your neocortex with Gandalf’s Fist, of course, providing the soundtrack.

“We truly believe this is the finest musical work we’ve ever created. There’s a mix of all of our influences and were you to put all of the best bits of our discography into a huge melting pot you’d end up with something quite close – but not as awesome – as what we’ve created.”

An official release date for The Clockwork Fable has yet to be confirmed, but pre-orders for the new album are open now, with those who buy early saving 20% on the full price of the new release.

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Gandalf’s Fist announce 10th anniversary acoustic EP

Gandalfs Fist

Gandalf’s Fist have announced the release of a new EP to mark their 10th anniversary.

Live From A Post-Apocalyptic Power Cut will feature acoustic re-workings of selected songs from the band’s back catalogue.

Say Gandalf’s Fist in a statement revealing the news: “Recorded amidst the fallout of the next global zombie apocalypse, the EP serves as a soothing soundtrack to the end of civilisation and is sure to help lift the spirit amidst the oncoming tides of the undead.”

The track list is set to include “The Snows They Melt The Soonest”, “Emerald Eyes”, “The Circus In The Clearing”, “North Of The Wall”, “Orphans Of The Sky” and “Upon The Paths To Nowhere”.

A release date for the new EP has not yet been confirmed, but the band say they will make an announcement in the near future.

Gandalf’s Fist’s last release was their 2014 album A Forest Of Fey which received a 4/5 rating in review here at Skin Back Alley.

Check out the teaser trailer for Live From A Post-Apocalyptic Power Cut below:

Gandalfs Fist 2015 EP Cover

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Album Review: Gandalf’s Fist | A Forest Of Fey

gandalfs-fist-a-forest-of-feyOur Verdict: 4/5
Release date: 20th of October
Find it at: Gandalf’s Fist’s official website
Review by: Graeme Blackwell

“Guard yourself from the lands outside, for the world we create is not cruel, nor kind. Welcome one and all to the other side…”

And so the superbly named Gandalf’s Fist return with their new full length album, A Forest of Fey. And much like Tolkien’s titular wizard, the music comes with an unassuming outward disposition, concealing an awesome power unleashed only when necessary, and to devastating effect.

Gandalf’s Fist mainstays Dean Marsh and Luke Severn are officially joined this time around by the able talents of Chris Ewen and Stefan Hepe. The expansion to a four-piece, combined with an astonishing array of guest musicians, delivers mesmeric and immersive results. Rather than dilute, the additional input seems only to have enhanced Marsh and Severn’s vision.

And what a vision.

In the album’s evocative opening, we are led into the woods through the character of a young girl wandering too far from her mother, the latter’s cry ringing out in fear. From there, A Forest Of Fey proves to be a mysterious and magical realm populated by a myriad of arcane characters, at turns exotic, fantastic and grotesque.

The menacing sound of a crow squawking, the squeal of a gate and the crunch of footsteps on gravel segue into the neo-folk setting of “Garden’s of the Lost”, an apt title for the plight of this unwitting traveler gone astray. Troy Donockley (The Bad Shepherds, Nightwish) provides hugely expressive flourishes of low whistle, and Melissa Hollick’s strong, crisp and clear vocal delivery complements the piece perfectly. Beyond its gentle but unsettling beginning, the song shifts thrillingly in to a rock setting, weaving around off-kilter minor progressions, and playing out beautifully to the end of its “…neverending fantasty.”

The title track, perhaps the most epic of the set, introduces a lyric about seasons that “…never change.” Being stuck and stagnation are themes that appear time and again throughout the remainder of the album, and help to build a sense of a place somehow locked in time and space, along with the notion that if she’s not careful, our protagonist will also find herself lost here forever. The music is spellbinding in itself, with spectacular passages of lead guitar and several stunning dynamic shifts.

Elsewhere in the forest, our lead stumbles upon “The Circus in the Clearing”, a sagacious saga with a galloping central passage that could be plucked from a classic ‘Maiden album. And as well as Marsh, Severn, Ewen and Hepe’s peerless skills, Donockley makes another appearance, this time on Bouzouki as well as whistles.

“The Figure Speaks” is essentially a poem; an interlude featuring dialogue from the mysterious ‘figure’ himself, delivering both a welcome and a warning to people passing through the lands beyond. The message seems to be that all is not necessarily as it seems.

Here again, in the “The World We Created”, are lyrics pointing to the shadows that seethe just beneath the surface of this fantastic place. This is a “…world without limits, a world without guilt… a world in pain, a world without conscience, a world of the vain.” The song is a spacious, psychedelic affair, with layers of keys and Marsh’s phased vocal suggestive of someone drifting through a surreal dream.

Something of a wise and benevolent wizard himself, guitar conjurer Matt Stevens (solo, The Fierce And The Dead) lends his not inconsiderable talents to the towering “Drifter on the Edge of Time” and the penultimate and triumphant sounding “Stories Old and Stories Told (Of Children Brave and Children Bold).” “Forest Rose (Coming Home)” is reminiscent of a time when Jethro Tull were making their mark on the mainstream, and “Return from the Tournament” seeks to get you off your arse and on your feet with it’s thundering, bounding Bodhrán courtesy of Dave Oberlé (Gryphon).

Progressive rock in the best possible sense, if A Forest Of Fey was a film, it would likely be Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. Its meticulous and carefully crafted production allows each and every detail room to breathe and offers something new with every listen. Ultimately, whether you love this album or not may well hinge on your predisposition towards fantasy and the fantastic herein. If you’re the sort of person who needs their art grounded in gritty realism, don’t venture here. For everyone else, a visit to this particular forest will prove to be richly rewarding.

“A Forest Of Fey” is released on the 20th of October. You can listen to track “Gardens Of The Lost” below.

Find out more by visiting Gandalf’s Fist’s official website.

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