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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ROBERT FOX: Touching the Serpent's Tail (2007)

Updated: Jan 10, 2021

This album has unique ambiences that travel on tribal, Gregorian and/or monastic frescoes, with a hint of melancholy and of medieval magic

1 Earth 03:29

2 Another Time, Another Place 08:35

3 The Serpent's Sweet Song 07:03

4 Weaver of Chance 08:22

5 Strange Voices in Ancient Tongues 08:36

6 Flying Free 10:08

7 Of a Time Gone By 05:43

8 Above the Still Waters 06:35

9 The Serpent's Tail 07:59

(CD/DDL 66:25) (V.F.)

(Progressive New Age)

Robert Fox is one of the artists who best transcends the mythical aspect of the English Middle Ages. English musician part of the progressive and electronic band Code Indigo, he creates unique atmospheres that travel on tribal, Gregorian and/or monastic frescoes, with a hint of melancholy and medieval magic. TOUCHING THE SERPENT'S TAIL is already a 12th album and a first since Maya released in 2004. This album with an intriguing title measures the creative dimension of Robert Fox and began during a harmless trip to Canada. British multi-instrumentalist gets his hands on a book of native poetry by Michael Robinson; Touching the Serpent's Tail. Around this time, Robert Fox was writing A Gatherings of Spirits, an ambient album. Twelve years later and after the vagaries of life and multiple experiences, he rediscovers these poems and begins to write TOUCHING THE SERPENT'S TAIL.

From the first breaths of Earth, we see the bodies of water, the cliffs and the paradise of this forbidden world. The musician covers his introduction with a tenderness that belongs to him. Floating, the synth blows a melodious air which pierces a thick buzz, like the opacity of the centuries camouflaging the true history. Heavenly voices rise to create a melody on ancestral flutes. And it is finally the start of a strange musical journey where Robert Fox makes an introspection of his first works. Another Time, Another Place is a sweet melody that travels on a piano with frolicking notes. Despite the good melodious theme, the English musician modifies this structure to transport us through the ages of the first conquerors. The ringing notes of The Serpent's Sweet Song take refuge in superb melodious layers. It is a strange floating and bewitching fairyland on a slow movement with visions of wandering haunted by heavy and threatening synths. Weaver of Chance is a lighter title on a good melodious structure with heavy and powerful synth layers and a very good play of percussions which click and which are reflected in their metallic echoes. The melody is captivating, like on Strange Voices in Ancient Tongues and its monastic voices. Flying Free is the centerpiece of the album. It's a track with a superb piano and its melodious spiral course floating between percussions imitating rattlesnakes. Tribal incantations, enchanting choirs on intersecting lines of rhythms and a beautiful keyboard play, its intensity varies according to the musical scenario which challenges the imagination with harmonious twists. A pure mix of hypnotic New Berlin School on melodious themes that we owe to a magnificent piano playing. An excellent title! After the atonic monastic canticle of Of a Time Gone By, Above the Still Waters takes us by surprise with a sublime melody à la Chariots of Fire by Vangelis. By far, the most beautiful and the purest melody on this last opus of Robert Fox. The title-track invades us with melodious choruses on poetic incantations. A beautiful floating introduction that falls into infernal and stylized rhythms, like Code Indigo and Delirium, on a rhythm supported by a hammering drums. The choirs are sublime and swirl on a symphonic synth, trapped by a melodious theme which flows towards a grandiose finale. The only final possible, for an album of this stature.

Sylvain Lupari (March 31st, 2007) ***½**

Available at AD Music

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