Forest Field News items
Dmitry from Let It Rock on DMME has written another great review for our latest album! You can find it on their website or read it below. Thank you Dmitry!
FOREST FIELD – Lonely Desert
Rock Company 2016
Spicy, if not spaced out, interpretation of the Muad’Dib story. Epic choruses abound.
Over the years, there’s been a few attempts to harness the essence of Frank Herbert’s “Dune” but only Klaus Schulze had taken it to an LP scale while eschewing songs’ format, an approach which multi-instrumentalist Peter Cox turned around for his fourth album loosely based on the classic book. With former LEGION singer Phil Vincent giving voice to most of the pieces here and clinging to Arrakis’ literary surface in “Fear” to create a triumphant finale, “Lonely Desert” is a many-layered work which reveals previously unnoticed textures with every new spin without losing its infectiousness.
One doesn’t need to be familiar with the context, though, to feel its melodic grip once “Valley Of Pain” has set things in motion with a heavy guitar hook, before vocals bring airiness into the arid riff-and-strum whose AOR magnetism is inescapable. There also sublime harmonies to make the refrains of “Into The Light” and “Asleep” as memorable as possible, yet dry production and deliberate toning down of the performances add to the thematic and cinematic dramatism that’s dictated by the original sci-fi saga.
Whereas voiceless vignettes such as “To Bits” introduce folk sensibility to the narrative, they also provide atmospheric contrast to the tension oozing out from the organ-bolstered “Alienation” to let this cosmos breathe. It may be lonely out there, but there’s music for a company.
The famous Progarchy site have published an absolute mindblowing review of the latest Forest Field album Lonely Desert. Reviewer Jay Watson commented on all the tracks and the artwork and gave many songs a 9 or a 10. Here are some edits of his words:
- I wish I had heard of this musical endeavor earlier on as they are quite good and I really like this album. It is a bit of a concept album based loosely on Frank Herbert‘s DUNE, but the listener need not know that classic to enjoy the listening experience.
- Before some track by track comments it needs be said that this not your “classical” prog of the early founding 70’s nor even the second wave iteration. There is more classic rock afoot here than Yes, Genesis, or Spock’s Beard. Forest Field is more of Thin Lizzy meets Judas Priest with Boston stirred in…infused with very tasty mellotron and synth additives. But that is not a bad thing as the music is too good to let restrictive descriptors keep ones ears shut.
- Track 4: Alienation (stranger in me) (5:08) Synths, keys, guitar, drums & base…. Foot starts tapping immediately. Best song so far. I love the melody. This would make a great single in my prog universe! Great guitar solo. 10/10
- Track 5: To Bits (3:01) Another beautifully arranged and mixed instro opening with guitar and bass playing off the synth…then the drums are added at the minute plus mark. This is more of a mood piece. 9/10
- Track 6: Asleep (5:24) Asleep is anything but, as it starts off rocking…a great rhythmic opening…very nice rock tune with great vocals and nice poppy riffs (but in a good way)…This would be another Top 40 hit in my prog imagination. I enjoy the accessible sing-along chorus. Also, maybe my favorite track. More great guitar. 10/10
- After 9 tracks I was thoroughly enjoying this disc but still hoping for some “wibbly-wobbly” prog caricature sounds to cement it in my own, maybe too narrow view of the genre. The closing song does that!
Track 10: Fear (15:10) The guitar chords strummed slowly and majestically invoke a romantic past (neo-classical) with a very beautiful melody. At 2:18 the hard electric guitar, bass, keys, and drums bust in with a forceful driving sound, and again the vocals are big, Journey like almost. There’s a real 80’s feel, almost arena rock (not that that’s always a bad thing). The sing-along nature of this tune (along with most of the other songs) brings to mind Eddie Money, early Styx, Bon Jovi, and most rock with melody. At the 6:50 the guitar gets harder and darker and some nice interplay with the several sounds as well as the vocals put a prog patina on this middle section. The lyrics of being the “freemen” has a prog-foundational-theme firmly ingrained. The dark plodding of the beat contrasted by the light and hopeful sounding lyrics makes this song an anthem of resistance…the “keepers of the spice” will fight. Any 15-minute song has to be prog, I guess. A winning last track 9.5, or maybe 10/10.
Needless to say these are only some of the highlights in the comments. We are still floored. Thank you very much Jay and to read his full article go here.
It is so humbling for us to be leading the One World Music Radio Rock Top 30 for 2 months in a row! This means that our music has had the most plays on the station in a month.
A huge thanks goes out to the OMWR crew and all the listeners.
There is a podcast of the show available, and of course it features one of our tracks:
Steve Sheppard from One World Music is someone whoe obviously cares deeply about his reviews and puts in a lot of effort to understand the music and give it the words it deserves.
And once again he hit the nails on the head with his writing about our Lonely Desert album. From our perspective it is so great when people really take the time to dig in and get the understand what we do!
- Forest Field are back and with their most elaborate project to date as Lonely Desert is now upon us, and featuring the amazing vocals of CranstoN front man Phil Vincent and of course the stylish and classy guitars of Peter Cox, one of the most incredible multi instrumentalists around today.
- Valley of Pain is where we start, and if you ever wanted to begin with something exceptional this is it, this track is outstanding, almost like a heavier version of Marillion at times, but the driving guitar and melodic vocals from Vincent find that extra power along the way, that makes this opener a true classic and a perfect opening piece.
- Now for something completely different, this one is called Doomed in the Desert; the whole album is loosely based around the epic tale Dune, written of course by Frank Herbert. Here the piano and Vincent are narrator of this tale of the desert and the will to survive. A fresh approach this, a slow tempo to match the tired energy and labour of the lonely and lost desert wanderer, the keyboards and acoustic guitar creating a sun filled vista, in what is an excellently musically painted composition. Then as if to lull you into a false sense of security, at over 4 minutes in, the song explodes into a semi rock ballad of despair, grit and determination.
- The wonderful weave of this album continues with the song Asleep, the narrative is creative, as is the arrangement of this semi rock ballad, the instrumentation used here is indeed excellent, but for me the harmonies employed in the songs construction were outstanding. Here is another fine example just how far Cox has raised the Forest Field bar.
- Forest Field have succeeded, they have produced their best album with ease to date, I love all of their last releases, but this one is off the scale and I am certain will feature on many of my shows over the next few months. Cox and Vincent have created an undeniably superb release with Lonely Desert and Forest Field will no doubt relentlessly climb up the chart with this one. If you’re a rock fan and want to be both entertained and empowered, you would do you self a very big favour, by adding this total gem of a rock release, into your musical collection.
Well, what can we say, we are still floored by all the compliments! Thank you Steve!
To read the full review click here
Our friends from Rock Melodico have written a great review for Lonely Desert. But since Spanish is not my best language, here a translation to English:
Forest Field and a job of excellence in “Lonely Desert”
Alex Socco, November 10, 2016
Forest Field are back with their fourth studio work released by the Rock Company label. And saying Forest Field is talking about Dutchman Peter Cox, the brain and mentor of this project which is completed by the voice of Phil Vincent (Cranston, Tragik). Then all the instruments were recorded by Cox at Down the Road Studios in Holland. And what’s more is to say that Cox composed all the songs.
So what about ‘Lonely Desert’? First, it is a step forward in quality with respect to the previous ‘Angels?’, already reviewed on these pages. The songs have more consistency, the production is superior and also the compositions. It is a work that mixes – as Forest Field have always done – progressive rock and melodic rock with more experimental parts and this is the best to date. There are a coiuple of instrumental tracks and the rest are adorned by Vincent’s voice, while the lyrics are based on Frank Herbert’s ‘The Chronicles of Dune’.
Within the songs, we have the initial “Valley of Pain”, probably one of the best ever for its melancholic melody, brilliantly vocalized by Vincent. “Coriolis” is an introspective instrumental with a crescendo in rhythm and a guitar solo at the end that really explodes. “Doomed In The Desert” is a ballad adorned with piano and here it is noticed that the vocalist feels more at ease with this type of records. “Alienation (Stranger In Me)” also has that melodic imprint in half-time format, more rock and with good choirs.
“To Bits” is an instrumental with subtle arpeggios of guitars, while “Asleep” is pure melodic rock, soft and dreamy. We also have something more heavy on “Into The Light”, with more sharp guitars and then follows “Riding the Worm”, the last of the instrumental tracks, more experimental with delicate arrangements of keyboards and works of guitars similar to David Gilmour. “The Confrontation” returns the classic melodic hard rock and the album ends with “Fear”, which mixes hard rock, AOR and prog, all in the same cocktail.
Last year we did an interview with Peter Cox, where he described Forest Field as a project of “good melodies, many harmonies, guitar works, elaborate arrangements, mellotron and hammond sounds and varied songs.”
As always, it is necessary to listen to the album more often to appreciate the work in its entirety. I would also say something to Peter Cox: it is time to make a purely instrumental record with “Coriolis” as a base of influence and for heads to fly.
On the Strutter Reviews page you can now find a review for the latest Forest Field release. In Gabor’s words:
Forest Field ‘Lonely desert’ (Rock Company)
Already the 4th album of Forest Field, which is a project by Dutch multi-instrumentalist Peter Cox. He does everything by himself except the vocals, which are provided by Phil Vincent, who recorded them in the USA. The result is more or less close to Phil Vincent’s releases, so if you’re familiar with his music, then you will understand how this sounds like. This time it all starts with a very strong song titled Valley of pain, an uptempo AOR/Melodic Rock tune with a deadly catchy chorus. This is definitely one of the finest songs of Forest Field so far. The rest of the album isn’t that as strong as the opening cut, but still a nice melodic heavy rock affair, with a few instrumentals and a couple surprising calmer tunes, such as Doomed in the desert and the epic lengthy closing track Fear that reveals progrock influences. All together a nice new record by Forest Field. More info at: www.rockcompany.nl
(Points: 7.8 out of 10)
The odayrox website has written some very nice words on the latest Forest Field album. Here they come:
“Lonely Desert” is the new album from FOREST FIELD, the band of Dutch musician Peter Cox who write all the music and play all the instruments. in fact, Forest Field is an international project, as American Phil Vincent (Legion, Cranston, Tragik) supply all the vocals.
The previous Forest Field album was tested by 0dayrox, but discarded because it was an erratic release, including a couple a really good tracks but not focused and musically disjointed.
Seems Cox finally found his way in this “Lonely Desert”, a melodic brand of progressive rock with a some harder moments. With his strong vocals apt for this kind of material, Phil Vincent helped to round a very interesting album.
Loosely based on the Dune saga from Frank Herbert and other science fiction topics, the music is a mix of prog rock with a couple of more straight forward rockers like the highly melodious, groovy midtempo opener ‘Valley of Pain’ or the pumping melodic hard rocker ‘Into The Light’.
The slower numbers work really well like the, again, melodic ‘Asleep’ and the fine ‘Alienation’ with some Winger touches, while Peter Cox creates two wonderful instrumentals on here, ‘Coriolis’ and the electric / acoustically mixed ‘To Bits’.
Closer ‘Fear’ is another strong composition divided in 6 parts, mixing melodic rock, instrumental passages, and some edge here and there.
Melodic prog rock meets melodic rock is the formula in “Lonely Desert”, a solid new album from Forest Field. Think recent John Elefante’s music, the light proggy side of Winger, Mastedon, a pinch of Kansas, and Phil Vincent last solo album.
Speaking of Vincent, it’s really good to hear him performing material not composed by himself, which not only expands his musical boundaries but also confirms he is a really good vocalist able to perform different stuff.
01 – Valley of Pain
02 – Coriolis
03 – Doomed in the Desert
04 – Alienation
05 – To Bits
06 – Asleep
07 – Into the Light
08 – Riding the Worm
09 – The Confrontation
10 – Fear
Peter Cox – all instruments
Phil Vincent – lead & backing vocals