Progressive rock Renaissance man, Robert Berry conceptualizes, composes and performs a soundtrack based upon author Robert Jordan’s widely read, “The Wheel of Time” fantasy novels, with this newly released effort also featuring mandolinist, Leif Sorbye of the Celtic/prog-rock band, “Tempest” and violinist Michael Mullen among others.
Essentially, Berry proposes that this soundtrack might serve as an audible adjunct for Jordan’s books, whereas this recording also denotes a rather enthusiastic and inspiring standalone listening experience. Simply put, Berry is an articulate musician who is equally adept with sound processing techniques, synth treatments and just about anything pertaining to the recording studio environment as he artfully melds clever orchestrations, with folksy Celtic type themes and booming rhythms. Throughout, the artist perpetuates a mystical outlook via melodramatic synth and human voice based choruses, menacing undercurrents, and a keen sense of fluid motion. Various passages include regally pronounced statements amid pastoral ambient-electronic motifs, symphonic arrangements, and burgeoning movements. With “Ladies Of the Tower”, Lisa Bouchelle’s satiny yet commanding vocals nicely contrast the harmoniously tinged background chorales, as Berry’s vibrantly picturesque The Wheel of Time brims with multihued metaphors that dutifully accentuate a fictitious world consisting of prophets, myths and legends. Recommended.
Allen Huotari’s May 1999 interview with Robert Berry
Personnel: Performed, Produced and Written by Robert Berry: Additional performances (on select tracks) by: Lief Sorbye; mandolin: Andy Frazier; vocals and guitar: Lisa Bouchelle; vocals: Michael Mullen; violin: