Classic rockwhite

A Forest of Fey

Song Samples

Track-list:
1. Childhood Ghosts
2. Gardens of the Lost
3. A Forest of Fey
(Including Wisdom of the Reptile and the Lament for a Silent Verse) 
4. The Figure Speaks
5. The World We Created
6. The Circus in the Clearing
(Including the Fanfare for the King’s Tournament)
7. Blood for a Royal Pardon
8. Drifter on the Edge of Time
9. Forest Rose (Coming Home)
10. Return from the Tournament
11. Stories Old and Stories Told 
(Of Children Brave and Children Bold)
12. A Poison Tree


Album Line-Up:
Dean Marsh – Vocals, Guitars, Mandolin, Keys, Additional Bass
Luke Severn – Vocals
Chris Ewen – Bass
Stefan Hepe – Drums
John Mitchell – Vocals
Troy Donockley – Cumbrian Bouzouki, Whistles, Low Whistle
Dave Oberlé – Vocals, Bodhran
Clive Nolan – Keys
Matt Stevens – Ambient Guitar
Melissa Hollick – Female Vocals
Dying Seed & Jennifer Pederson - Additional/Backing Vocals
"#3 PROG ALBUM OF 2014" - CLASSIC ROCK MAGAZINE UK
"9/10...ONE OF THE BEST RECORDS YOU WILL HEAR ALL YEAR" - MAXIMUM VOLUME MUSIC
"THIS IS THE FIST'S FINEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE" - GEOFF BARTON (CLASSIC ROCK)
"IF YOU LIKE INTELLIGENT, WELL WRITTEN, WELL PERFORMED PROG THEN THIS IS THE ALBUM FOR YOU... ANOTHER CONTENDER FOR ALBUM OF THE YEAR... 9/10"  - DUTCH PROGRESSIVE ROCK PAGE
"FOR ANYONE WHO LOVES MUSIC TO BE ABOUT GREAT STORYTELLING...ESSENTIAL... 4/5" MUSICBANK.CO
"A MIXTURE OF TRADITIONAL PROG AND A NEO INFLUENCE COMBINING WITH TOUCHES OF FOLK AND SOME AMAZINGLY CATCHY CHORUSES" - FIREWORKS MAGAZINE
"MY SIMPLE ADVICE WOULD BE TO GO AND GET A COPY AS SOON AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN, AS YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED...5/5" - PROG ROCK MUSIC TALK

The New Album - Out Now!

Earlier this year we announced that work had begun on the follow up to last year’s “A Day in the Life of a Universal Wanderer”. The album received critically high praise with Prog/Classic Rock Magazine’s Geoff Barton voting it in his  Critic’s Choice list for 2013. 


Now we're delighted to share this page with you which should provide a nice little insight into what our creative process was in creating this album!

“A Forest of Fey” is the first release by the Gandalf's Fist as a four-piece and follows the psychedelic, folk-tinged journey of a young girl trapped in a malevolent woodland and features exciting guest contributions from Troy Donockley (Nightwish), John Mitchell (It Bites/Arena), Dave Oberlé (Gryphon), Clive Nolan (Pendragon/Arena) and Matt Stevens (Instrumental Artist/The Fierce and the Dead).

The bespoke Album art was created by German Artist Thomas Huth and the record is slated for an autumn release. 

A Forest of Fey is now finished and ready to prog your socks off!

The Album is now available to ORDER NOW via our Store - this really helps us out as independent musicians as it means we don't have to source out a label or going through third-party crowd funding websites... so cheers for helping us out! 
For those digitally inclined, you can also get the record on itunes, or any other digital retailer worth it's weight is salt! Nice! 

On this page you'll find a dedicated blog for the album which will provide further insights from everything from guest musicians, album art and even some song samples - why not have a trawl through what we've already posted?
 

A gap in in a hedge, innocent at first, leads down a lane few dare to tread.
Where a land filled with wonder awaits for all those who dare pass unseen.
The creatures that dwell here are fabulous yet familiar…
An Old English Gent; A prim and proper lady; the urchin boy full of fun and mischief
A travelling bunch of misfits who fill the world with sinister fun.
Ensnared for a time without end, a child stumbles into this world that is neither normal nor sane.
Guard yourself from the lands outside, for the world we create is not cruel, nor kind
Welcome one and all to the other side… please watch your head.

Studio Updates

Gryphon's Dave Oberlé adds to the Cast! 

Dave and Dean

Well, well well. if you thought that me and Luke were the only two blokes that were going to go all folky on a Gandalf's Fist record you were sadly mistaken!

It's with great pleasure that I can announce that Dave Oberlé, vocalist and drummer for 70's Prog/Folk band Gryphon will be appearing on the new album!

As a Gryphon fan this was a bit of a treat - We'd recorded a folk section featuring Troy Donockley on the bouzouki and thought Dave's vocal style would be a perfect match... and we were right!

Dave came up and recorded his parts whilst Chris and I were tracking his bass sections, which was a good laugh - Dave is an absolute gent and had many a tale to tell... he didn't even complain about Chris' incessant questioning (or even question why he was dressed as the man from del monte wearing a home-made AC/DC t-shirt for that matter!)

The track Dave features on is quite a sad and melancholic piece that, as it stands, will probably be the penultimate track on the album... it's a cool little number that draws a thematic motif, that carries throughout the record, to it's final conclusion!

Afterwards, this is what Dave had to say about the experience:

"I was delighted when Dean approached me to play a small part in the recording of this album. Having listened to previous Gandalf's Fist albums I had been very impressed with the standard of musicianship, composition and production. I tend to be rather selective these days about what projects I get involved in but this is most certainly a band to watch out for."

Which was very kind of him to say so!

As well as laying down some vocal tracks Dave is also plays the bodhran on the album - which again, has really added something to the mix. I suppose it appeals to the Irish Blood in me but I think it's a great sounding percussion instrument and has given a bit of 'gusto' to the intro to the track! 

Dave meets Chris Ewen: Master of style.


If you're not familiar with Gryphon (well you bloody-well should be) they were a really great, unique band that used traditional medieval-style instruments such as Crumhorns in their music... perfect! I could go on for ages but Wikipedia is your friend.

My out and out favourite track has always been their version of "The Unquiet Grave" - a traditional folk song about a young man mourning the loss of his love... Check it out below - great haunting Vocals from Dave and an atmosphere in this track that is like nothing else!

 

More news soon!

Cheers,

Dean

 

New Gandalf’s Fist Album to Feature Members of Nightwish, It Bites, Gryphon, Pendragon & More 

 

PRESS RELEASE 15TH JULY 2014

Earlier this year, UK purveyors of Medieval Space Rock – Gandalf’s Fist, announced that work had begun on the follow up to last year’s “A Day in the Life of a Universal Wanderer” - the album which received critically high praise with Prog/Classic Rock Magazine’s Geoff Barton voting it in his Critic’s Choice list for 2013.
 
But what may be as equally exciting as news of this year’s successor, a seemingly fantastical, forest-themed piece, is the announcement surrounding the guest appearances that are lined up for the record.
 
Besides mainstays Dean Marsh and Luke Severn (coupled with new members Chris Ewen and Stefan Hepe), the album will feature contributions from Nightwish's Troy Donockley; Gryphon's Dave Oberlé; It Bites’ John Mitchell and fellow Arena sparring partner and Pendragon keyboard supremo Clive Nolan. Also appearing will be the much-respected Instrumental guitarist Matt Stevens, whilst female vocalist Melissa Hollick, having recently performed the track ‘I Believe’ on the ending credits of Bethesda’s ‘Wolfenstein: The New Order’, reprises her duties from the previous record.
 
Gandalf’s Fist chief composer, Dean Marsh commented on the news: “I’m over the moon to announce these collaborations – each and every musician involved has really gone the extra mile with their contributions to this record… it feels great to welcome such an esteemed ensemble to the ridiculous world of Gandalf’s Fist - I really can’t wait to show everyone what we’ve come up with!
 
John Mitchell has been announced as providing the vocal to a powerful closing track to the album which can be described as a swashbuckling mix of Genesis and Queen, whilst on a separate track, Clive Nolan’s keyboard soloing drives home the Space-Rock credentials associated with Gandalf’s Fist.
 
Announced as playing the bouzouki, whistles and low whistle on a number of tracks, Nightwish/Bad Shepherds multi-instrumentalist Troy Donockley commented: "I was delighted to be asked. It's great to see some honest progressive rock coming from British West Cumbria!" 

Whilst drummer/singer from 70’s folk-prog heroes Gryphon, Dave Oberlé, who joins the ensemble on vocals and bodhrán, remarked: "I was delighted when Dean approached me to play a small part in the recording of this album. Having listened to previous Gandalf's fist albums I had been very impressed with the standard of musicianship, composition and production. I tend to be rather selective these days about what projects I get involved in but this is most certainly a band to watch out for."
 
In addition, critically acclaimed instrumental guitar wizard Matt Stevens will be bringing some virtuoso nuances to the upcoming record. With trademark looping pedal in tow, Matt’s playing really adds an extra layer and dimension to the tracks.
 
Gandalf’s Fist hopes to announce details of even more guests and further details surrounding the new album in the coming weeks, with a studio production blog now accessible via www.gandalfsfist.com/new-album

Melissa Hollick to Return on Vocals 

melissahollick.com

As some may be aware, Melissa appeared on the previous Gandalf's Fist record, A Day in the Life of a Universal Wanderer singing on the tracks "Somewhere beyond the Stars" and "The Wanderer Goes South".

Melissa’s singing has been described as being reminiscent of ‘the haunting vocals of Kate Bush with a delicate sprinkle of Karen Carpenter…she effortlessly soars to the dizzy heights of the top notes with the same dexterity as she reserves for the lower tones.’

Welcoming her back on this project has really been a no-brainer... she has a fantastic voice and really excels at bringing out the drama in our music, providing a great counter balance to Dean and Luke's warblings!

As we're really trying to create a continuous thread through the story we are trying to convey on this record, you can expect to hear Melissa at more frequent intervals - it really is sounding great already.. some of these choruses really SOAR!

Her latest achievement was singing on the ending credits of Bethesda’s ‘Wolfenstein: The New Order’ video game covering the Chris Isaak song, ‘I Believe’… Check out the video below!
Cheers,
Dean
 

How a Song is Born 

First Blog Entry from New Drummer Stefan Hepe
Right now, in the hot phase of writing new material for our coming album, I thought it could be interesting for you to know how we work...

...Hard at work.

Allow me to use a short production clip from the upcoming record as an example. More oft than not Dean comes up with an idea for a new song. He then sends me the basic guidance tracks, along with some track information (135 BPM, 4/4 in half-time feel, after 7 bars we get into a swinging part, etc). Those tracks usually contain Synth/Piano and/or guitar, sometimes accompanied to some basic drums, mixed together as a mp3 file. Along with this I also get a guide-track with the same content, only the drums are muted (that's what I use to record my stuff to). This is what such a track sounds like:



I then import those two tracks into my DAW (Cubase is my weapon of choice), set up the time signature- and tempo-tracks according to Dean's notes, and listen to his guidance drums (if there are any... sometimes he has something very specific in mind which I try to cover as best I can!)
And then I drum. And write. And drum. And change. :)

At the point I feel ready to record my ideas I record the drumtrack directly into my PC... When I'm satisfied, I check the note velocities, position, delete double-triggered notes and tidy up the whole drumtrack. We now have something that sounds like this:



Again, a mixdown of all audio (Deans Track(s) without drums plus my drums) is exported as mp3 and sent towards Dean. Once we both agree on overall mood, arrangement, drum rhythm and fills, I begin my part of mixing down: the drums. Using EQ, compression, reverb and some other nifty little tools (depending on the song), I'm then ready to do another mixdown - a stereo 48.000 kHz, 24 Bit Wave-Audio track of my drumming without anything else. It now sounds how I want my drums to sound like!! Here you are:



Then Dean and the rest of the band (Christopher, Luke) add their parts to the song, sometimes at this stage we also have guest-musicians who contribute to it.

Every now and then I get a new mix from "work in progress", which is really exciting. Comparing the soundfiles we began with until the final song, witnessing it grow - it's an unbeatable experience!

So, in our example-song I used here, I can also provide you with the current "work in progress" state, which currently sounds like this going into the vocal recording phase...



So - just a short, simple section...We've just finished the first part of vocal recordings for this track and it's starting to sound rather epic indeed!
More samples soon!

Stefan

New Album Annouced! 

Song-writing begins, as always, by fashioning some rudimentary forest instruments...


AND SO IT BEGINS! Following the recent news that Chris Ewen and Stefan Hepe had been recruited to full-time members it's nice to get down to some serious recording business!

The wheels are in motion and things are well underway already but hopefully this blog will give you a little insight into what to expect!

Following the galaxy-spanning space rock of 'A Day in the Life of a Universal Wanderer' the concept around the new album is a bit more rooted on planet earth but nevertheless fantastical!

We've got some great guest musicians lined up too - and by 'great' what I actually mean is FAN-STONKING-TASTIC!!  Hopefully will bring you more news on them in the fullness of time!

More news soon!
Dean