The second release under under Telergy banner from New Hampshire multi-instrumentalist/composer Robert McClung follows 2011’s Old Testament- inspired The Exodus. Here McClung relates the true tale of a New Hampshire woman tried for witchcraft in 1656.
While you might expect musical and lyrical ruminations on universal human themes and aspects of early settler community life, the album is in fact largely lyric-free. The instrumental segments work rather successfully, from tender, ethereal piano, string and flute pieces (Incarceration and final track Exoneration are truly lovely) to full-on prog-metal workouts evoking Dream Theater, Symphony X, even Ayreon.
A dizzying array of guests (Colin Edwin, Ty Tabor and Nik Turner to name but three) flesh things out, with some terrific solos and orchestral bombast. The am-dram, spoken-word sections and faux-folk refrains are less convincing. They work as narrative signposts, but the subject matter here deserves something a little less obvious.
An ambitious symphonic prog undertaking then, with high-quality playing marred by some dubious storytelling devices and the lack of a solid vocal presence.