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The Folsom Project

The Wolf and the Skull

Review by Gary Hill

This is without question progressive music. That said, I'm sure some people are likely to argue with its placement under prog. That's because it has elements from types of music not normally associated with progressive rock. The main one of those is hip hop, but techno is another. Beyond that, this is associated with the newer school of prog more than the older, but it's definitely prog. I've marked a few songs here as having earned parental advisories for the lyrics, but I probably missed one or two. I would say that you should generally just assume parental advisories for everything except the instrumentals and you'll be pretty close to accuracy.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Chapter 1: The Wolf & The Woods
Coming in electronic and symphonic, this works out with a dark and dramatic vibe in that way for a time. It eventually gets into more powered up sounds for the entrance of the vocals. It has a real lush vibe to it. In some ways the cut makes me think of a modern interpretation of the music of the Doors. It's a powerfully opening piece.
Awaken
Piano brings this into being. It eventually makes its way out into some cool symphonic and electronic based prog. It's a killer proggy instrumental.
Dr. Schmidth
Symphonic and proggy, this has some full-on rapping built into it. It earns a parental advisory. There are so many cool electronic and organic sounding elements working together. This is art music for certain. It's also edgy and unique. It gets pretty crazed before it's done.
Ali
The mix of sounds from the last tune are pretty well unchanged here. That said, this cut is its own piece, it just draws from the same base of concepts. This one gets a parental advisory, but never gets quite as intense as the previous number did.
Iceland
There is a real symphonic electronic element at the start of this. As some guitar joins, it brings an unsettling, but so cool, edge to it. There is a bit of an angry alternative rock thing at play in parts of this. It drops to a piano and voice movement later. The cut gets into some trippy zones from there as the weirdness rises upward.
Chapter 2: The Lady In White

This number has some intriguing changes and differing movements. It has some cool grooves at times. While it's set largely in prog zones, it also includes a rap later in its run. I love the piano breaks on the piece, too.

The Red Room
Coming in with a mellower movement that feels like jazzy cafe music as it works out, this is another tasty bit of art rock. It's an instrumental.
The Storm Is Coming

 There is a sound-bite at the start of this that has a real cinematic vibe, including some dramatic and ominous monologue. Electronic elements emerge to guide it forward. The spoken voice returns to continue the monologue as the cut is building upward in almost symphonic ways. Other than those sound bite bits, this is an instrumental.

Just a Boy
Weird electronic music merges with an alternative rock angle. There are some raps in the mix on this. The cut gets into some cool electronic edged prog zones further down the road. This includes some raps along with more sung vocals. It gets into some pretty intense territory as it continues.
Chapter 3: Lamb Or Wolf
As this cut works out there is an echoey kind of texture that brings a bit of Americana. I dig the bass sound on the piece. It's an instrumental.
Last One
Waves of electronic sound bring this into being. Symphonic elements climb over the top as it continues. Elements of jazz and electronic things are added to the mix. There are some vocals that seem like some sort of chant. The music gets heavier further down the road. There is a real dark majesty to this thing.
The Wolf
Symphonic prog textures bring this in understated but powerfully. A rap comes over the top as the music intensities.
The Skull
There is a powerful electronic groove to this number. It has a techno edge. Some of the vocals fit that, while others are rapped. This is edgy and mean, but also has some symphonic textures and a real artsy vibe to it.
Chapter 4: Ballad of The Death
Electronica and modern prog seem to merge on this classy number. Some symphonic elements emerge later on in this instrumental track.
Chapter 5: Year Zero
Trippy electronic textures and more are heard as this piece gets underway. This instrumental gets quite symphonic before it's done.
 
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