Musica Ficta: A Child And A Well

Left-field Israeli collective get medieval on our ass.

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A term coined by European theorists in the late 12th century, ‘musica ficta’ was music that used tones and structures considered to exist outside established tradition. The band named after this concept draw a great deal of influence from prog’s less conservative wing. This album is strongly medieval in flavour, extravagant in conception and nimble in delivery; an invigorating splurge of punchy flute solos, propulsive rhythms and gorgeous vocal melodies delivered by Julia Feldman.

It is perhaps significant that the band, led by guitarist Udi Horev, hail from Israel. There is something distinctly alien and pleasingly original lurking beneath the surface of elaborate pieces like Little Town and clatter-fest Run Free You Idiot.

Despite an obvious debt to Jethro Tull, ELP, Camel’s The Snow Goose and German proggers Epidaurus, A Child And A Well is a proudly singular and fearless affair, with lyrics sung in Hebrew, bursts of gruff pro-metal riffing and unsettling, skittering electronics on closing epic A Fantasy.

One or two songs creak under the weight of Horev’s endless ideas, but even when over-egged this prog pudding tastes pretty damn good.