Voice Of The Seven Woods
Voice Of The Seven Woods
Label ©  Twisted Nerve
Release Year  2007
Length  34:48
Genre  Psych Folk
Personal Star Rating [1-5]  
  Ref#  V-0151
Bitrate  ~230 Kbps
  Other   Rare Item·
    Track Listing:
      Sand And Flames  
      Satai Nova  
      The Fire In My Head  
      Silver Morning Branches  
      Second Transition  
      Valley Of The Rocks  
      Under Water Journey  
      Return From Byzantium  
      The Smoking Furnace  
      Dusk Cloud  
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      Review by Stewart Mason

      Following a lengthy string of 7" singles and EPs that have been finding an ever-increasing audience as the psychedelic folk revival gains steam, Voice of the Seven Woods finally made their full-length debut with this self-titled album, which singer, guitarist, and sole permanent member Ricky Tomlinson claims is the culmination of the project. It's a true shame if this album is indeed the last Voice of the Seven Woods release, because this is among the finest releases so far in the whole style. Far too many of Tomlinson's compatriots think it's enough to cop some ideas from an old Incredible String Band album and leave it at that, but the list of influences here cannot be so easily summarized. Like Davy Graham or Pentangle, Tomlinson is well-versed in jazz, blues, country, and certain world music styles; for example, one of the album's many high points, the ripping "Second Transition," features a wild and woolly solo on the electric saz, a modern updating of a traditional Middle Eastern instrument that was last used this effectively on a rock record on the Cedars' 1967 freakbeat classic "For Your Information." Most crucially, Voice of the Seven Woods simply rocks much harder than, say, Devendra Banhart, with a heavy psych-pop vibe in the manner of the Bevis Frond: the genuinely trippy "Underwater Journey" could be placed intact on a Rubble-like compilation of unknown psychedelic-era jams with no one the wiser, and the epic "Return from Byzantium" has the hypnotic pulse of vintage Can. At just over six-and-a-half minutes, that last song is twice the length of all but two others (the opening solo acoustic reverie "Sand and Flames" and the Nick Drake-style ballad "Silver Morning Branches"), and that sense of concision is vitally important to this album's effect as well. Psychedelic doesn't have to mean endless, after all. [The CD was also released with bonus tracks.]
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