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Pelander - Time

  • Written by  Marky Edison


Time is the debut solo album from Witchcraft frontman, Magnus Pelander. Known for his heavy, doomy guitars and passionate blues-rock vocals, he has gone acoustic for Time. It's surprising that Magnus Pelander has another album in him given the double LP his band released earlier this year. That was one of the highlights of hard rock this year so this additional record is very welcome.

With Witchcraft, Pelander sounds like Robert Plant singing with Black Sabbath backing him. On the opening song of his solo acoustic debut he sounds no less like Plant but now playing with only Jimmy Page. The similarity does not end at the vocal style and layers of Led Zeppelin-esque guitar; the ornamental flute and eastern strings are explicit nods to the rock gods.

Pelander displays an awareness of his likeness to Plant and includes the line “When the levee breaks” in the chorus of the opening track, ‘Umbrella’. There are clear references to Page's guitar and ‘Umbrella’ sounds like a lost track from III. ‘Time’ takes influence from Zep’s slower, folkier numbers and the backing vocals echo those of Sandy Denny on ‘The Battle Of Evermore’. Time is what Zeppelin sound like when they’re not ripping off/paying homage to Willie Dixon.

What we already know from his work with Witchcraft is that Pelander can sing and play expertly; something he has over nearly every other singer-songwriter before he has played a note. The flute and strings add another dimension and reinforce the ‘70s folk vibe á la Jethro Tull and T-Rex. Witchcraft producer Philip Saxin displays his usual lightness of touch behind the desk. Time sounds natural and understated; organic is the current buzzword.

However much Pelander sounds like Plant, his songwriting is very much his own. He maintains the epic sweep of Witchcraft on Time. The seven songs last three quarters of an hour and, although there is nothing to match his titanic 15 minute tunes from January’s Nucleus, ‘True Colour’ and ‘Precious Swan’ clock in just shy of ten minutes apiece. As ever, he makes time stand still with his unfussy arrangements. While he is playing you wish the song would never end.

Time is available from amazon & iTunes.

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