The Gift

Prog Head

Active member
It’s been silent for quite some years around THE GIFT, one of the proponents of ‘New Wave of British Progressive Rock’… Yet out of the blue news reached me that there will be their second studio album ‘Land Of Shadows’, to be released in little over two months. A founder member Mike Morton (writer, multi-instrumentalist, lead vocalist) complimented by his son Joseph (drums), David Lloyd (guitars), Howard Boder (keyboards) and Kirk Watson (bass). :)

The tracklisting follows below:


1. The Willows (12:10)
2. Walk Into The Water (6:04)
3. St Vitus Dance (3:17)
4. Too Many Hands (4:35)
5. You Are The Song (4:02)
6. Windscreen (7: 08)
7. The Comforting Cold (19:53)
8. I Sing Of Change (2:12).




Btw, I have heard some full songs last week. As was to be expected, CD ‘Land Of Shadows’ basically continues the style of the debut album. But The Gift have grown in their creation. This is a new chapter and it sounds marvellous…:cool:

Looking forward to the date of release.
;)
 

Prog Head

Active member
THE GIFT returns with the superb follow up to 2006’s debut ‘Awake And Dreaming’. :cool: Definitely, like its brilliant predecessor, CD 'Land Of Shadows' is a work of art to be savoured. From the narrative opener ‘I Sing Of Change’ to desperate 'The Willows’, from the dramatic tension of ‘Road Runs On ‘Til Morning’ to the soothing lushness of ‘Walk Into The Water’, from the nimble tempo of ‘Too Many Hands’ to restrained ballad ‘You Are The Song’, from 19-minute plus epic ‘The Comforting Cold’ to the bright sadness of closure ‘As’, all compositions here are well conceived, expertly arranged and have a synergy effect. The band demonstrates ability to produce very emotive and intriguing material full of details that demand for conscious listening. With diverse influences from the 70’s era of British progressive rock, but with an eye to the horizon, mainman and his partners pack the great style meandering through a myriad of strategically placed changes. There are plenty of majestic keyboard passages, tasty drums and virtuoso guitar licks, encircled by string components (violin, cello, viola). Whilst elsewhere, the piercing riffs allow the sound to be harder but not too heavy. The hypnotizing vocals of Mike Morton bring a special charm to provide the ideal combination between gentle atmosphere and dynamics. A powerful medium, indeed… :)
In summary. It's a vast well of inspiration from which The Gift draws. As was to be expected, CD ‘Land Of Shadows’ basically continues the style of the debut release. Although, the group have grown in their joint creation. This is a new chapter encrusted with jewels of love and care. Just follow my advice. Check out and you will be captivated!



cover.jpg
 
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Prog Head

Active member
Although not officially confirmed yet - The Gift will release their brand new, a four-track mini-album during the latter part of 2015. Approximately 30 min.
 

Prog Head

Active member
Although not officially confirmed yet - The Gift will release their brand new, a four-track mini-album during the latter part of 2015. Approximately 30 min.

As The Gift have more new material than was required for an EP, the full-length album should be released later in this year. Several star guests will provide the guitar solo and trademark acoustic performance as well as keyboard affair. But the group don't divulge their names yet. :)


The other item. BEM will release a remastered version of highly-acclaimed CD 'Awake And Dreaming' in mid-February 2016. It features a newly designed artwork. :cool:

http://thegiftuk.bandcamp.com/album/awake-dreaming
 

Prog Head

Active member
As The Gift have more new material than was required for an EP, the full-length album should be released later in this year. Several star guests will provide the guitar solo and trademark acoustic performance as well as keyboard affair.

The next studio album has a working title - "Pandemonium', and it will likely contain 8 tracks. An intended release date is set for October - November 2016.
 
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Prog Head

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The next studio album has a working title - "Pandemonium', and it will likely contain 8 tracks. An intended release date is set for October - November 2016.

Work is in progress on songs called 'Changeling', 'At Sea', 'Daylight Fades', 'Nostalgia', 'Sweeper of Dreams', 'St.Vitus Dance', plus another couple..

 

Prog Head

Active member

The next studio album has a working title - "Pandemonium'.

It has been retitled to 'Why The Sea Is Salt'

A track-list is as follows.

1. Sweeper Of Dreams.
2. At Sea.
3. Ondine's Song.
4. Tuesday's Child.
5. All These Things.
6. The Tallest Tree.

There will be a couple of guest stars performing on the album. Viz. Anthony Phillips and Steve Hackett (formely Genesis).
 
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Prog Head

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Bad Elephant Music is proud to announce that they will be releasing 'Why The Sea Is Salt', the third album from London progressive rock band THE GIFT on 28th October 2016.
The emphasis is on melody and lyricism, with the core writing team now bolstered by the return offounder member Leroy James and by classical pianist Gabriele Baldocci. Heartfelt lyrics are at the fore, with themes including love, loss, rampant materialism and the nature of the sea.
The album is also graced by stellar guest performances from ex-Genesis guitarists Steve Hackett and Anthony Phillips, and by Tiger Moth Tales and Red Bazar​ multi-instrumentalist Peter Jones. The album was mixed by Dave Lloyd, mastered by Daniel Bowles at Seren Sounds. The sumptuous design is the work of internationally renowned artist Mark Buckingham.
All pre-orders of the compact disc will come with an exclusive postcard featuring the album cover design, and signed by the band on the reverse.


[email protected]

 
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Prog Head

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The longest review I ever wrote! :)

Honestly, I rate THE GIFT as one of the premier progressive-rock bands at this juncture. What I've always liked about Mike Morton and his squad is that their output is very melodic and soft in places, yet really complex and intriguing - as it's developed to a high degree of sophistication on the group's own terms, rather than simply being imitative of some seminal acts. Staying loyal to their own musical principles and exploring renewed sonic dimensions, The Gift just released the 3rd studio album 'Why The Sea Is Salt' to exceed all our expectations. There’s a different line-up featuring the core members Mike Morton (lead vocals), David Lloyd (guitars & backing vocals) and Leroy James (guitars & backing vocals) who have recruited Gabriele Baldocci (keyboards courtesy), Stefan Dickers (bass duties) and Neil Hayman (drums & percussion kit). Neither partner dominates this record; each puts a peculiar stamp upon the CD. Indeed, the result is a richer musical palette than The Gift had ever had to work with, and their most ambitious record to date. Hopefully, my words will become the credentials for your immediate order. So here's my definition… The magnificent opener 'At Sea' consists of five parts: namely, ‘Bon Voyage’, ‘Battle Stations’, ‘Storm Force’, ‘Becalmed’ and ‘Tritons’. They are glued together to make a cohesive whole, firmly planted in diverse progressive traditions, albeit the nice piano passages bring a pure classical feel. Some interesting key changes and mood swings transfer from gentle portion to unsettling. A wide range of themes and motifs to play around is providing a superb framework of reference for the co-operation. The sensitive vocals of Mike Morton appear to enhance the beauty of this chapter. From the lyrical standpoint, it is about human impuissance in front of the raging force of nature. Absolutely wondrous introduction to the album! The second track on disc, 'Sweeper Of Dreamers' is a more energetic piece which delivers quite aggressive, even ominous tone. The generated tension embodies both vibrant propulsion and exquisite refinement. The racy voice of Mike Morton penetrates into the texture, highlighting the strengths of the material. The deliberate switching of melodies and tempos combined with abrupt shifts from coarse push to startling interludes manage the listener's attention. There are some obvious aspects throughout, reminding of Alex Harvey template. That’s a challenging however engaging track with the good balance between variegated instrumentation and bizarre singing. The Gift cools down for the successor, 'Tuesday's Child', an exclusive sample of melodic sensibilities. This composition includes three distinct sections fascinating as one. Marvelous grace comes in the shape of initial part - 'Road Of Ashes' - and it resembles ‘Crying For Help VIII (Guidance)’ by Arena - at least, to me. Cos’ I hear a perfect synthesis of heavenly choir-chant and ethereal soundscapes, thereby providing the mysterious imagery. The musical grandeur slowly turns into another segment titled 'The First Flower' which embodies the elegant vocal delivery atop of the versatile guitar-key-rhythm interplay. The ultimate instrumental 'New Horizon' seems to be a logical progression from two previous outings. The dual guitar wizardry of Leroy James and David Lloyd can literally take your breath away. Just now, in terms of aura and structure, I have to think about mid-90's Pendragon. Next up, ‘The Tallest Tree’, supremely emotive message with a deep feel. Beyond any doubt, the lyrical context has a major impact on the appeal of this particular song (it’s dedicated to Mike Morton's father who passed away in January 2016). Maestro Anthony Phillips offers his twelve-string acoustic lace, a special mood fleshes out by the Irish whistle of Peter Jones (Tiger Moth Tail). Erelong, the heartfelt voice of Mike Morton comes to the fore. The vocal execution is at once really stunning but also par of exchange for the general sonic palette. Having a luxurious continuity, the track develops to momentous guitar solo from Steve Hackett (Genesis fame), whereas the keyboardist Gabriele Baldocci, bassist Stefan Dickers and drummer Neil Hayman join to the proceedings. Great stuff all the way. Noteworthy is a stupendous canvas titled 'All These Things' on which the group applies a variety of different colors, tones and variations with the result coming off like a priceless painting. To say 20+ min. opus sounds merely intriguing is a serious understatement. With the hallmarks of a grandiose work of art, the multifaceted epic is divided into six sub-sections (‘The Vow’, ’Harvest Of The Hollow’, ’Feeding Time’, ’The Jackdaw, Magpie And Me’, ’Swan And Butterfly’, ’Heartfire’) each venturing into characteristic musical areas. The Gift go across the board progressive wise, and fans of Jethro Tull, King Crimson, Rush, Kino, Frost, Dream Theater, Led Zeppelin, Queen as well as admires of ‘70’s rock ballads, can find something to their liking in this package. There is the bizarre combination of much drama and magic, startling interludes and aggressive moments, folky nuances altered by church organ, latino rhythms and poignant electric guitars, tortuous synth-lines and deft rhythm section, delicate piano, excellent lead vocals and catchy harmonies. Let's also don't forget about metaphorical lyrics. OMG! What else the band can pull out of the bag of musical tricks? The final item 'At Sea - Reprise (Ondine's Song)’ wraps things up in honorable manner. Its mystically strange atmosphere conveys subtle resemblance to ELO (at the earliest ‘70’s). A shared sentiment is nurtured by the vocal performance a’la Jeff Lynne. The song slips into a slow-tempo, amidst the dominant synthesizers accompanied by flexible bass and elegant drums. This pattern gradually evolves to the guitar solo during the latter half. Nearby, patently familiar harmonies infiltrate the melodic formula using a fadeaway to close everything. Then the album lingers in my brain long after the last song ends!.. Overall, I can only hope that the exposure gained from 'Why The Sea Is Salt' will help The Gift come into the BIG PROG-LEAGUE. Either way, this amazing CD should be at the very top place in my personal list of 2016.

 

John Watt

Active member
Thanks for putting this up.

The video for "The Sweeper of Dreams" has some exceptional moments.
It's always nice when you see something you've never seen before,
and with all that detail. Too bad the woman is as froze as ice.
 
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