White Willow, Ex Tenebris (CD)

Pre-order. Release date April 12, 2024.

Jewel Case CD.

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Ex Tenebris is the classic second album from Norwegian prog legends White Willow, originally released in 1997. It was made after the Ignus Fatuus line-up had disbanded. Originally intended to be a solo album by Jacob Holm-Lupo, it turned into a White Willow record when he realized it was going more in a progressive direction than anticipated. The recording was quick and dirty, done on a shoestring budget, but there is some charm to the natural drum ambience and first-takes-only feel of the album.

Overall, Ex Tenebris ended up being a more stripped-down, somewhat darker album than Ignis Fatuus. No krumhorns or renaissance vocal groups, more electric guitar and synths. The songs range from almost neo-progish mini-epics like Leaving the House of Thanatos, via acoustic balladry (The Book of Love, Thirteen Days) to more overtly gothic stuff like A Strange Procession & A Dance of Shadows. The album has become a bit of a cult favourite with the band’s fans, and was White Willows’s first step towards something more original than the first album’s retro-styled psych-folk.

This re-release was meticulously remastered by the band’s own Jacob Holm-Lupo and is presented with the classic original cover art, for the first time on vinyl. This is the second in a series of six White Willow re-releases on Karisma Records.

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