As the Forest Field website states clearly “Forest Field is not a band. Forest Field is a project.” In the way that the famed Alan Parsons Project was able to use various and rotating musicians and performers over the “bands'” discography while always availing itself of its founders and creators Parsons and Eric Wolfson, so too the album Lonely Desert is the brainchild of Chinawhite guitarist Peter Cox. Cox plays all the instruments on this 9 track album while he is joined by Phil Vincent who very admirably handles the vocals. Lonely Desert is the fifth release from this Dutch project that bills itself as melodic rock, new age/ambient, and progressive. I wish I had heard of this musical endeavor earlier on as they are quite good and I really like this album. It is a bit of a concept album based loosely on Frank Herbert‘s DUNE, but the listener need not know that classic to enjoy the listening experience.
Before some track by track comments it needs be said that this not your “classical” prog of the early founding 70’s nor even the second wave iteration. There is more classic rock afoot here than Yes, Genesis, or Spock’s Beard. Forest Field is more of Thin Lizzy meets Judas Priest with Boston stirred in…infused with very tasty mellotron and synth additives. But that is not a bad thing as the music is too good to let restrictive descriptors keep ones ears shut.
The jacket art sure is prog friendly! The Blekkmark Design Studio provides a suitably Sci-Fi/Fantasy portrait in pleasing hues of purple, violet, and blue. 10/10 for the cover.
Track 1: Valley of Pain (7:10) This song has a neo prog feel, almost Frost* like. This has solid drumming (also by Cox) and a very catchy rock arrangement. There is also the first, of an album-full guitar solo by Cox. I like it. There is a familiar feeling to the melody. At 4:45 there is a down tempo change where the synths predominate. Then at 5:40 the chorus comes back. But it is catchy. 7/10