The Gift: Land Of Shadows

London symph-rockers find their future, and their past.

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

For a band that started life in 2003, The Gift are notably thrifty when it comes to releasing new music – Land Of Shadows is only their second album. The music is firmly rooted in classic British prog, most evidently 70s Pink Floyd, with strong melodies bolstered by flashes of virtuosity.

The catchy choruses of Too Many Hands show off their pop sensibility, while You Are The Song is an unabashed ballad. Yet there is plenty for prog purists to embrace here too, particularly in the 20 minutes of The Comforting Cold, which weaves between strings, wide-open soundscapes and heavier rock instrumental sections to great effect.

Guitarist David Lloyd channels David Gilmour in his solos in Road Runs On ‘Til Morning and The Willow. Mike Morton’s voice isn’t particularly imposing. His vocals lack the range and resonance of rock’s real powerhouse frontmen – he’s more Neal Morse than James LaBrie. But there is a sense of honesty in his delivery and heartfelt lyrics which carries him through the moments where he reaches for notes that threaten to elude him.

A long time coming, Land Of Shadows may not break new ground, but it successfully evokes the spirit of prog gone by.

David West

After starting his writing career covering the unforgiving world of MMA, David moved into music journalism at Rhythm magazine, interviewing legends of the drum kit including Ginger Baker and Neil Peart. A regular contributor to Prog, he’s written for Metal Hammer, The Blues, Country Music Magazine and more. The author of Chasing Dragons: An Introduction To The Martial Arts Film, David shares his thoughts on kung fu movies in essays and videos for 88 Films, Arrow Films, and Eureka Entertainment. He firmly believes Steely Dan’s Reelin’ In The Years is the tuniest tune ever tuned.