Lee Speaks About Music… #144

The Gathering – Osmosis

The Gathering CD Cover


Well the first of the new albums I have to review of the new year is another freebie that has only just been released and was very kindly sent to me by Gary Hetherington. Some of you may remember I reviewed Hetherington’s debut album Long Time Coming back in November which was an album of romantic pop songs, although what we have here is a collection of folk songs put together and compiled by four individual musicians hence the album being entitled “The Gathering” I would expect.

In many ways it takes me back to the early 70’s when a group of folk musicians mostly from the band Fairport Convention got back together and called themselves “The Bunch“. Only those fine bunch of folkies put together a compilation of rock n’ roll cover songs and called it Rock On back in 1972 when the album was released.


It’s also worth mentioning that some of those musicians released what I consider to be one of the finest folk albums in that same year which was also a one-off album entitled Morris On.  I myself was a massive fan of Fairport Convention back then and from that one band alone the members of it went on to form many other well-known folk bands such as Steeleye Span, Fotheringay, Matthews Southern Comfort, The Albion Band and so on. Richard Thompson also went on to have one of most successful solo careers and is amongst the very best folk song writers and still is today.


This particular album The Gathering in many respects follows along the lines of how those couple of albums were put together and the material was mostly written by others rather than themselves. The only odd thing I do find a bit strange is why they decided to call themselves Osmosis. The albums title I personally would of thought would have been a far more fitting name to go with. But before I go any further let’s take a look at the packaging and artwork.

The Packaging & Artwork…

The CD comes in a single cardboard sleeve which replicates a mini version of a non-gatefold vinyl album. The song titles and some credits are printed on the back of the sleeve and it does not include a booklet to include the lyrics and more informative information regarding the linear notes and credits. The packaging is very well presented although because it is on the slim side it might present you with a harder task to locate the CD when stored along with your collection. But overall, you cannot really complain at the budget price the CD is sold for.

The Artwork.

The albums artwork is very fitting to the albums title and this bonny bunch of lads and lasses look like they have gathered together in a harvest field to celebrate the bringing in of the harvest. The artwork itself no doubt was not done by any of the members of the band and is in fact quite an antique piece of artwork entitled “The Harvest Home” and was done by the famous English artist and possibly the most famous caricaturist of the Georgian Era, Thomas Rowlandson who was noted for his political satire and social observation.


Thomas Rowlandson

Rowlandson was a prolific artist and printmaker who produced a wide variety of illustrations for novels, joke books, and topographical works. This particular piece of artwork and illustration was used for the Dr Syntax series which tells the story of a clergyman who travels the countryside and gets up to all sorts of adventures. The British miscellaneous writer William Combe was the author of all three of Dr Syntax series to which he was chiefly remembered for and he used all of Rowlandson‘s illustrations for the series.  “The Harvest Home” was most likely used for the first series entitled “Tour of Dr. Syntax in Search of the Picturesque” that was first published in 1812.

The Album In Review…

The Gathering by Osmosis was released on the 6th February 2020. The album consists of 10 tracks to which 8 of them are covers and only contains 2 original songs and it comes with an overall playing time of 42 minutes, 26 seconds. A very respectful time slot for an album making it easy to digest for a reviewer like myself. It’s also in line with my preferred time slot of 30 to 40 minutes to which all albums were back in the 70’s. The album was produced by Gary Hetherington and even though he only features on a couple of the albums tracks, it was he who also provided most of the instrumentation throughout the album.

Osmosis are a 4-piece studio band comprising of Karin Grandal-Park, Sheree Hemingway, Peter Dunk & Gary Hetherington and all its members have worked with each other on other projects at one point or another. Like I mentioned in the introduction I did find it a bit odd why they decided to go with the name “Osmosis” instead of “The Gathering” for the name of the band. Osmosis for example, is the spontaneous net movement of solvent molecules through a selectively permeable membrane into a region of higher solute concentration, in the direction that tends to equalize the solute concentrations on the two sides.

But it also can be the process of gradual or unconscious assimilation of ideas and that is perhaps why the name was used. Though being that all the members of the band come from all over the place from places in England such as Yorkshire, Kent and Lancashire. I personally felt that “The Gathering” would have been better suited for both the name of the band and album just like that classic album from 1972 was simply titled “Morris On“.

Work started on the album back in the first week of October last year and has Gary Hetherington was the main musician of the line-up it was he who had to make all the backing tracks for the other members to choose which cover songs they were going to do. As there were 4 members in the band, they each chose 2 cover songs each although being that it was Karin Grandal-Park who also contributed the 2 original compositions to the album, she got to feature on 4 of them.

The album is very well produced and Hetherington also seen the sense to include a couple of other additional musicians to lend a hand on a couple of the albums tracks. Both are really good guitarists and the one of them namely Karl Robins is certainly no stranger to Hetherington and myself and he contributes some fine acoustic guitar on a couple of the tracks. Alan Dublon on the other hand is someone I am not that familiar with, although I do have him on my list of Facebook friends. It might very well be that I came across him many years ago on Soundcloud collaborating with some other musician on the cloud and he contributes electric guitar on one of the albums tracks.

Musicians & Credits…


Produced & Mastered by Gary Hetherington at The House. All songs are traditional covers and were written by various poets and hymnsters except tracks 6 & 9 written by Karin Grandal-Park and track 8 written by Joan Baez. Cover Design by Gary Hetherington. Painting by Thomas Rowlandson.

Karin Grandal-Park – Vocals (Tracks 2, 6, 9 & 10).
Sheree Hemingway – Vocals (Tracks 4 & 8).
Peter Dunk – Vocals (Tracks 1 & 5) – Bandoneon (Track 1).
Gary Hetherington – Instrumentation – Vocals (Tracks 3 & 7).

Additional Musicians.
Karl Robins – Acoustic Guitar (Tracks 3 & 4).
Alan Dublon – Electric Guitar (Track 4).

The Album Tracks In Review…

The Gathering is an album of traditional folk songs most of which were covered by many mainstream or signed artists who specifically are associated with traditional folk music. There is also some original written materiel along the album too and much of the lyrical content in many traditional folk songs can stretch back centuries to the medieval times and were quite often found in hymns and poems. For hundreds of years many folks have used the words to sing to and even put a musical accompaniment around them to make up a song.

Gary Hetherington has worked closely with the other singers and musicians to provide them with a backing track that they felt comfortable to work with and was suited to the way that they wanted to deliver each song. Well certainly in the case of the arrangements for himself and the two female singers on the album. Whereas Peter Dunk who contributes to a couple of the songs in the way of using his own voice as the main instrument, would have done his own arrangements though Hetherington may have provided the environmental elements in the background during the production process. So, let’s now take a closer look to see how it all worked out.

Track 1. I Live Not Where I Love.

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The words to the song started out as a poem that was written on the Virgin Mary, by Robert Southwell around 1596. Robert Morley set some verses of it to music around 1600 and the song has been covered by many artists including the likes of Steeleye Span, Linda Thomson, Tim Hart & Maddy Prior and Mary Black to name a few.

Peter Dunk’s approach to the song is more like an Acapella the sort of way Martin Carthy would do many a song back in the 60’s unaccompanied even though he was also quite an accomplished guitarist. Although Dunk is not entirely unaccompanied here and uses his Bandoneon in the way of a drone and it seats well in the background and supports his fine folky voice very well and is all it really needs.


The bandoneon is a type of concertina particularly popular in Argentina and Uruguay. It’s a bit like the German squeeze box from hell the Accordion but without the register keys and did originate from Germany and was developed in the mid-1800s and named by the German instrument dealer Heinrich Band (1821–1860). It was originally intended as an instrument for religious and popular music of the day back then and by 1910 they were being produced expressly for the Argentine and Uruguayan markets who used the instrument mainly for the Tango and traditional Orquesta típica which is a Latin American term for a band which plays popular music as seen below.


Overall, Peter Dunk has done a very fine job here and his voice is very much suited to this particular genre of traditional folk. It sets the right mood for the album and this is perhaps a love song that one would take to the grave so to speak and works very well as the opening track.

Track 2. Down By The Sally Gardens.

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Another song that came from a poem and was written by the Irish poet William Butler Yeats and was published back in 1889 in his first book of poems entitled “The Wanderings of Oisin and Other Poems”. Yeats spent his childhood holidays in the County of Sligo in Ireland and it’s been suggested that the location of the “Salley Gardens” was on the banks of the river at Ballysadare near Sligo where the residents cultivated trees to provide roof thatching materials.

His poem was subsequently first set to music by Herbert Hughes back in 1909 to which others followed suit such as the 1920’s composer Rebecca Clarke. Although the poem has been part of the repertoire of many singers and groups, the melody is mostly set around the song “The Maids of Mourne Shore” that Hughes originally put Yeats words from the poem too and we no end of artists have recorded the song including the likes of Marianne Faithfull, The Waterboys, Loreena McKennitt and even James Galway done an instrumental version of it.

Karin Grandal-Park takes on the vocals for this one to which she does a fine job and it sort of has a Vera Lynn feel about the way she delivers the song and I perhaps get that vibe from the way she tends to hold on to a word and stretch it out that bit longer. Gary Hetherington’s done a splendid job on the musical side of things which I do suspect was mostly done on the keyboards including the guitars, though he may of also played the odd touches on his acoustic guitar. The piano and the flutes work particularity well with the accompaniment and I am pretty sure it his voice that backs up Karin’s on the last couple of verses.

To be honest this is not a song I am familiar with and is quite new to me despite it being over a hundred years old. The way it’s presented here is quite pleasantly very soothing and they have both done a GRAND! job of it.

Track 3. Scarborough Fair.

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This song I think everyone is familiar with and the biggest majority of people would no doubt associate it with Simon & Garfunkel. Though the song itself was not written by them but Art Garfunkel did write the Canticle that accompanies their version and for me personally they exceeded all expectations and I certainly do not feel there has ever been a better version of the song and I have heard many different versions.

Gary Hetherington takes on the vocals for this one and takes on pretty much most of the instrumentation that is once again supplied by the use of his keyboards. It also features Karl Robins on acoustic guitar and one of the female singers have also accompanied him on the backing vocals and at a guess I think its Sheree Hemingway. They have not included the Canticle either but then again that was not part of the original song.

The lyrics to “Scarborough Fair” can be traced as far back as 1670 to a Scottish ballad titled “The Elfin Knight” collected by Francis James Child. But they only appear to have something in common with that version. Although the English references to the fair and refrain was brought to light much later in a tune by Frank Kidson in 1891.

Simon & Garfunkel’s version of the song was based around the Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger version recorded in 1957 that Martin Carthy had picked up on and rearranged for his own version in 1965. It was also Carthy who taught Paul Simon how to play the song on guitar. However, what Simon & Garfunkel did with the song was to present it in the way of a sweet folk ballad which really swept and stripped away all the traditional folk elements that many had previously done with the song and by doing so they made it more popular and that is why their version still stands out today.

This version that Hetherington has done is also on the sweeter side of things and that is really down to him having more of a sweeter voice. If Peter Dunk was to sing this song for example, it would most likely bring back all the traditional folk elements and would have a different arrangement worked around his voice which very much is more suited to traditional folk music. But overall, this is another fine pleasing and sweet version of the song and quite a good all-round job has been done here.

Track 4. She Moved Through The Fair.


From one fair to another and this a song I know quite well being very much into Sandy Denny and Fairport Convention. Though thousands of artists have covered the song and oddly enough even Art Garfunkel recorded quite a lush version of it on his Watermark album back in 1977. It’s traditionally an Irish folk song although the earliest commercial recording of the song was done was done by a Scotsman back in 1936 namely Sydney MacEwan. It has been found both in Ireland and in Scotland and scraps of the song were first collected in County Donegal by the Longford poet Padraic Colum and the musicologist Herbert Hughes. The lyrics were first published in Hughes’s Irish Country Songs, published by Boosey & Hawkes in 1909.

This is the first of two songs on the album that Sheree Hemingway gets to sing and I have to say her voice is very well suited and she has worked wonders on the song. It also features Karl Robins on acoustic guitar and Alan Dublon on electric guitar who also both work wonders here. Regarding the instrumentation and arrangement this for me personally is the best worked out song on the album and really is GORGEOUS! and it has all the right elements in the instrument department. It’s very much a very strong contender for the albums TOP SPOT AWARD!

Track 5. The Captain’s Apprentice.


This is another song I am not familiar with and the song is derived from an event that took place back in the 18th century about Captain James who was brought to trial and hanged for the murder of one of his young servants who had only committed a trifling offence. The young servant or apprentice was tortured and abused by James and left to die of starvation, though this story has been portrayed in many different ways in songs over the years and quite often the lyrical content has been changed to put it across. Another title the song goes under is “The Cruel Ship’s Captain” and besides the many who have put the story to the genre of traditional folk, it’s also been set to operatic classical music as in the version done by Vaughan Williams.

Although the version we have here is very much done like many other folkies have portrayed the song by doing it unaccompanied as in a Acapella and Peter Dunk and his fine folky voice returns to do his second track on the album and does another GRAND! job of it. This time he is only accompanied by the sound of the wind which also works very well in the background. “The Captain’s Apprentice” is the shortest track on the album and both the songs that Dunk has taken on are only around the 2 – 3 mark, but he has done quite a stellar job on them both and they work wonders on this album.

Track 6. Down in the Deep, Deep Water.


This is the first of the two original compositions on the album that were written by Karin Grandal-Park and here she is accompanied very well by Gary Hetherington on the piano and he also threw in some orchestral instrumentation into the arrangement too. The lyrical content pertains to to a dying love lost to the spirit of the water sort of thing, and although it’s done in sweet way, I quite like how it describes all the beauty that is lost above the deep water.

Many songs in traditional folk music do have a darker side to them and although this song might sound on the brighter side of things with how it’s delivered it does cross between light and shade with its lyrical content and is a very well written song and a fine job has been done here.

Track 7. Bold Fisherman.


A popular English folk song that dates back to the early 19th century and lyrically this is perhaps one of the more cleaned up seductive songs in relation to many other songs in the realm of traditional folk music such as “The Bonney Black Hare” and “The Astrologer” for examples. One of the earliest recordings of the song was done by the Norfolk singer Harry Cox around 1950 and judging by the lyrics Gary Hetherington has followed those because the biggest majority of folkies who recorded the song from the 60’s onwards (when it became more popular) refereed to the meeting of the maid and the fisherman being in May and not June as in the Harry Cox recording of the song.

Musically Hetherington has done his own thing with the arrangement and give it more of a light-hearted pop folky ballad feel and approach which tends to take away the traditional folk side of how many other artists approached the song. Many artists did also use instrumentation rather than do an unaccompanied version like Cox did such as Tim Hart & Maddy Prior and Shirley Collins. Though one of the finest versions I have heard is the one done by The Young Tradition who were a trio back in 1966 when they recorded the song and they used their voices only.

To be honest the way Hetherington has done the song in his own way is a very good thing and it gives the song more of a pleasing aspect to it. But his voice I do feel is better suited to the sort of pop songs he done on his own debut album. In some ways the way he’s arranged the song around the piano sort of puts me in mind of how one would arrange a song for a TV series sort of thing.

For example, there a lovely flutey sound he’s put in that reminds me of the same sort of flute that was used in the theme tune to the American TV Series “Taxi” that starred Danny DeVito. The violin also has more of an orchestrated classical presence to it that one would also find in how they use strings for a TV Series rather than a fiddle that is more widely used in folk music. But overall, he’s done a fine all-round job here.

Track 8. Silver Dagger.


This for me is the highlight of the album and Sheree Hemingway must have a fine drop of Irish blood in her or was born in Ireland. Once again Gary Hetherington has done a GRAND! job on the musical arrangement and the violins and uilleann pipes give it a Celtic feel. Hemingway’s voice is perfect for this song and in my opinion, it suits her better than Joan Baez who originally wrote and recorded the song back in 1960. I think one of the hardest jobs ever is to do a cover of a song better than the original and I personally think this version is better and that is why it merits the albums TOP SPOT AWARD!

Track 9. Gallows Tree.


The second of the original songs written by Karin Grandal-Park takes on perhaps a familiar subject with many folk songs and Fairport Convention done a couple of them back in the early 70’s with songs such as the “Poor Will And The Jolly Hangman” and “The Hanging Song“. Once again Karin has done a fine job on the lyrics and delivers them very well with the subtle drone arrangement that Gary had provided here. I like how he even put ringing of the bell in towards the end too which is very haunting and fitting in with it all.

Track 10. Ae Fond Kiss.

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Karin takes on the final song of the album and this is very much a love song to which comes from a love letter that the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote to Mrs Agnes Maclehose who he had established a platonic relationship with and sent to her on 27th December 1791 before she departed Edinburgh for Jamaica to be with her estranged husband. The original words were set to the tune of “Rory Dalls‘ Port” and the musical score was published in the collection of Scottish folks’ songs known as the “Scots Musical Museum“.

Ae Fond Kiss” is Burns most recorded love song and has been covered mostly by Scott’s such as The Corries back in early 70’s although even the British folk and soft rock band Fairground Attraction done a version of it in the late 80’s. The first recording of the song was done by the Glasgow Orpheus Choir back in 1951 and both Allan Bruce and Niven Miller recorded the song in 1960. In other countries the song is also known as “Just A Kiss” and in 2004 they also made a romantic drama film directed by Ken Loach that was inspired by the love song.

I would say that because the lyrical content is based around love and romance, the song leans more towards the Celtic folk side of things with its approach more than it would to traditional English folk music where they would use instrumentation like mandolins, dulcimers and so on. For example, a light and airy approach that James Horner done for the arrangement of “My Heart Will Go On” which was the theme song for the Titanic movie sung by Celine Dion would even suit the lyrical content we have here.

I do personally feel with the arrangement that Gary Hetherington has done here with the piano and violin is more fitting to a song like this and he very much had the right vision with his approach to the music. It does also suit Karin’s voice and she delivers the words very well and they have both done a really GREAT! cover version and done justice to Robert Burns GREAT! words and it puts an end to a very fine album.


To sum up The Gathering by Osmosis. I would say it’s an album like many albums you would find in the world of traditional folk and folk music where most of the material is arranged rather than completely written by the artist themselves. It is more of a covers album but that is also what even many artists in this field of music still do today regardless of them being able to write GREAT! songs of their own like Richard Thompson for example.

The fact that there is 4 people and 4 voices involved here, it does give the album much more of a wider variety and each song has been very well arranged to fit the voice that is going to deliver each song. Being more into English folk rock and traditional folk myself, I would say that the voices of both Sheree Hemingway and Peter Dunk are much more suited to that field of music. But not all the material on this album belongs to that field of music and that is where both the voices of Karin Grandal-Park and Gary Hetherington help out to give the album a bit more scope and variety and it works very well.

On the musical side of things Gary Hetherington has really done a FABULOUS! job on the instrumentation and arrangements throughout and the additions on a couple of the songs by both Karl Robins and Alan Dublon are most welcome and work very well. The couple of songs penned by Karin Grandal-Park also fit in very well amongst all the cover songs and I would also say that her voice on the “Gallows Tree” is also suited more to the traditional folk side of things. 

My personal highlights from the album are as follows: “Silver Dagger“. “She Moved Through The Fair “. “The Captain’s Apprentice” and “Ae Fond Kiss“.


In conclusion I would not say that The Gathering by Osmosis is an album that is going to set the world on fire, but what I like about the album is that the songs are short and not overcooked which all adds to making it quite a pleasant enough album that one could quite easily sit down with and get some pleasure out of listening to it, and at its price point I do feel there is good value here. The mixture of traditional and light hearted folk songs works very well and the album has been very well produced.

If traditional folk and folk is your tipple then I personally cannot really fault anything along the lines of this album and overall, it’s not a bad cuppa tea at all and a very good professional job as been done by all who have contributed to making the album. The album is not going to break your bank account at its price either and can be purchased on ebay here on the link provided: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Osmosis-The-Gathering/324065014119?entryapp=dlp

The album is now also available in the form of a digital download on Bandcamp which does give you the opportunity to listen to the album for free or purchase should you wish to do so and can be found here:  https://osmosis-music.bandcamp.com/releases

On Every Link A Heart Does Dangle

The CD track listing is as follows:

01. I Live Not Where I Love. 2:59.
02. Down By The Sally Gardens. 4:38.
03. Scarborough Fair. 3:50.
04. She Moved Through The Fair. 4:16.
05. The Captain’s Apprentice. 2:31.
06. Down in the Deep, Deep Water. 4:37.
07. Bold Fisherman. 5:38.
08. Silver Dagger. 4:55.
09. Gallows Tree. 3:50.
10. Ae Fond Kiss. 5:12.

Lee’s Packaging Rating Score. 7/10.

Lee’s Price Point Rating Score. 10/10.

Lee’s Album Rating Score. 7/10.

Lee Speaks About Music… #142

Of Humanity And Other Odd Things – P.O.E.



The final album of 2019 I received as a Christmas gift from my good friend in Germany Dirk Radloff and although it arrived a few days before I did not open it until Christmas day. I was quite pleasantly surprised to see that Satan had also popped along to add a bit of darkness to the joyful time of the year, although I did wait till Boxing Day before I let him out of his cage so to speak :)))).

P.O.E. is an abbreviation of Philosophy Of Evil who are a 4 piece band from Italy who released their first EP “The Tell-Tale Heart” back in 2015. The whole concept and project of the band goes back a bit further and stretches back to the cold winter months of 2012 when the singer of the band Charles Wooldridge was experimenting in combining some of the evil texts from the famous author Edgar Allan Poe to put to the genre of metal.

Though it was not until around 2015 that he finally found the rest of the musicians to put his project into fruition and in the autumn of last year they got to release their debut album Of Humanity And Other Odd Things. It’s perhaps more of an album that verges along the lines of rock, prog rock and metal and you could even say the sort of horror rock you would get from the likes of Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson and is heavily influenced by those artists and many others.

Charles Wooldridge sounds more English than Italian and that’s because it’s only a stage name he’s using for the band. Whether the rest of the band members are using stage names I could not tell you, but my first encounter with Wooldridge was on Soundcloud around 2014/15 when he was collaborating with Dirk Radloff a.k.a. HeartScore and using what I presume is his real name Giacomo Rossi. He is a talented guy who is involved in many other projects and holds a Master’s Degree from the Modern Music Institute and also runs his own classes giving vocal lessons to students.

It was only last year that my good friend Dirk from Germany (who gifted me this album) further collaborated with Giacomo Rossi and decided to change the singer for his own HeartScore project. Back in November we seen the release of Black Riders Part 2 which is another GREAT! album well worth checking out and you can find my review of it here: https://leespeaksoutaboutmusic.wordpress.com/2019/11/08/lee-speaks-about-music-131/

This video of the song “There Was A Man And A Woman” that was put out to promote Black Riders Part 2 shows you the power and range that Rossi can project from his voice, and he really has what it takes to make a GREAT! rock singer.

In some ways both the projects of HeartScore and P.O.E. have something in common in that they both use the poetry of famous authors to create the lyrics. However, unlike HeartScore not all the lyrical content is derived from poetry alone and they have inputted some of their own lyrics and they have not only based their songs around Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry but also his stories.

The band P.O.E. are very much a 4-piece outfit that can take things a bit further by going out playing and performing live on stage which does have its advantages. I would also say that the music that the band present is perhaps not so much on the metal side of things like HeartScore and when Giacomo Rossi becomes Charles Wooldridge his voice does not project a lot of the power that is required more so for the HeartScore project he’s also involved in. But before we go any further let’s take a look at the artwork and packaging.

The Packaging & Artwork…


The CD comes in a standard plastic Jewel Case to which they are perhaps going out of fashion these days in relation to cardboard Digipaks and Digisleeves that I personally think give a much more quality presentation of your album and do prefer. Although in general the Jewel Case is still the cheaper economical solution when it comes down to the cost and they also do a good enough job of protecting the disc.

But I would not say that the Jewel Case was more robust in relation to Digipaks and Digisleeves and the plastic material that is used to make them is very brittle and can easily break and you do have to be more careful with them. Quite often the Jewel Case will not survive the postal journey it takes to arrive to your home from the store and this one did not survive the trip from Germany to England.


As you can see in the photo above the front of the case was cracked and one of the pieces that attaches it to the main tray had snapped off. The spine was also damaged and all the plastic clips around the hub that holds the CD in place had also snapped off. Luckily the CD was not scratched or marked and the cases are cheap enough to buy and easy enough to replace them with. I always have a few spare cases at hand to cater for these situations.

The CD comes with a 16-page booklet that contains all the lyrics and some GREAT! pictures but no real informative information. The credits are also not informative enough simply because it gives you the names of the band only and does not even tell you who’s playing what instrument. The CD is self-made and was not done by a manufacturing company but nevertheless it is very well printed and quite a professional quality job has been done here.

Unless you were unlike myself who has made CD’s in the past, you would never notice the difference. The only thing it really lacks is that more attention could have been applied and given to the linear notes and credits.


The albums Artwork & Cover Design was done by Eddy Talpo and the photography was done by Anna Lisa Russo. I personally think it fits like a glove in relation the music the band are presenting to you and is well fitting with the haunting and horror you will find in a lot of Edgar Allan Poe’s works too. I like it a lot and it should attract attention I feel. Pretty much a bang on job as been done here.

The Album In Review…

The album Of Humanity And Other Odd Things by the Philosophy Of Evil was released on the 7th October 2019. The album contains 13 tracks and comes with an overall playing time of 44 minutes. 58 seconds and is a well comfortable time slot for you to easily digest and soak in all its content. All the written material is original and all writing credits are credited to the band.

The album was released through a small independent record label known as Sheratan Records. Although like many small record labels they are perhaps irrelevant these days and only really serve a purpose in trying to make the product you are making look a bit more like it was professionally made and distributed. Though according to what little information comes with the linear credits and production notes on the CD it was also Sheratan Records that mixed, mastered and produced the album.

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Sheratan Records by all accounts offered a multi service for artists and bands ranging from artistic production, social media management, recording facilities and even included video making in their services. So perhaps they were more than just an independent record label and you can see that just by judging the professional standards of the videos of the band that are on their YouTube channel and Facebook page.

I would also say they provided a quality service and done pretty much a decent job for the band. It also looks like the band spared no expense in getting a quality job as you can see from this video of them covering and doing their own version of the pop song “Girls Like You” that was originally done by Maroon 5 featuring Cardi B.

To be honest I had never heard of the song before but did have a listen to the original version and I prefer this version by P.O.E. in relation to it. Whoever masterminded the script for the video also had a very good head on their shoulders too and it’s a really GREAT! video production that has been done here for sure.

The band also go out of their way to look the part as well with their image that really is suited to the music they are purveying and putting across. The makeup and masks remind of the likes of Kiss, Alice Cooper and many others.


Everything about the band P.O.E. very much looks like they are going the right way about things with how they are promoting themselves including the photo shoots of the band. You certainly could not say they are not trying. I also think it’s very clever how they come up with the name of the band Philosophy Of Evil out of the famous authors surname and the abbreviation of it also serves well as a logo and looks the business on the albums cover. Even how the band describe themselves in their own words sums them up to a tee has you can see below.

“What we want is to express the dark, sick, evil side of human soul, that part of soul that lives in each of us and every day it’s powerfully trying to come to light in order to disrupt our being. It’s the tense for what is ugly, grotesque, unsettling that the genius of Edgar Allan Poe was able to describe sublimely with his poetry and his stories. This is all part of us and we try to celebrate it and, in some cases, exorcise it through our songs. That said, do not take us too seriously. We never do”.

Although everything with how P.O.E. are going about things and how it might appear to be looking on the ROSIE! side. Through my research of the band very little information can be found out about them and the only resourceful place to find out about them is on their Facebook page and YouTube channel. So far everything about the band appears to be coming out of Sheritan Records and judging by the fact that their website no longer there could mean that it no longer exists.

Like I mentioned earlier that being a band gives them the advantage to go out and play live and spread their name out a bit. But so far, I can see no physical evidence that they have played live as of yet, but they seem to have a couple of gigs lined up this year judging by some of the announcements and posters they have put on their Facebook page. It could also be that the band also need to rehearse the material well enough before they present it to an audience that has caused the delay and why they chose this year to do so. So, lets now take a look at the band line-up.

Musicians & Credits…


All songs written by Philosophy Of Evil. Mixed Mastered & Produced by Sheratan Records. Artwork & Cover Design by Eddy Talpo.  Photography by Anna Lisa Russo.


Charles Wooldridge – Vocals – Piano & Keyboards.
Emmanuel Botch – Guitar.
Francis Gebirge – Bass.
Aleksander Ladislaw – Drums.

Additional Musicians.

Sofia Mazza – Vocals (You’re My Stream)

The Album Tracks In Review…

Of Humanity And Other Odd Things is an album that consists mainly of short songs and some very short instrumental pieces that are used as an introduction and intervals to the next song. The album can also flow along like a concept album and at times it feels as if it’s a continuous story. However, it’s not a continuous story and is made up of individual tracks to which most of them are only adapted around some of the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Only one of the tracks actually uses the lyrics from one of his poems and the rest of the lyrics are very cleverly written and put into context by the band.

There is quite a theatrical presence in the way the songs are delivered and it also slightly touches on classical music in particular with use of the orchestration on the keyboard. I would also say most of the material was written on the keyboard too. Besides the likes of Marilyn Manson and Alice Cooper that I have already mentioned. There is quite a mixture of influences here and even the Italian composer Vivaldi springs to mind in particular on a couple of tracks with some of the stringed arrangements. So, lets now take a deep look into the album as I go through the individual tracks.

Track 1. Prelude.

The title pertains to an introduction and this 33 second introduction that starts off the album is quite a haunting one that sounds like it came out of a horror movie. Perhaps something along the lines of Chucky. For all I know this opening might have come out of a film because there is a young girl speaking the few words here and I am pretty sure it’s not Charles Wooldridge :))))). Though he or one of the other band members might have whispered “Poe” at the end of this short ghostly evil poem.

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The musical box is used in many horror films and its put to good effect here, it’s also often used on many of Alice Cooper’s albums and here it also accompanied by some reverse effects and a musical saw and has been very well put together and gets the album off to quite a chilling and eerie start.

Track 2. Puppet Show.

The opening song of the album also has an Alice Cooper feel about it and a load of others no doubt, the strings in particular have a bit of a Vivaldi feel about them. I am pretty sure the band put this track out before the album was released to give people a taster of what was to come. The combination of the piano and metal power chords works extremely well together and the music has been very well constructed with how it crosses between the genres of metal and classical. It also contains some well tasty guitar solo work from Emmanuel Botch too and the changes and progression also work a TREAT!

The lyrics pertain to a puppet wanting to be free who would rather be dead than be tied to his master sort of thing. The lyrics are very well written as you can see from one of the verses below and Charles Wooldridge delivers them very well.

My life is the disgusting triumph of lie
You all soulless puppets without a brain
The noose is ready and we were prepared to die
In a theatre that has no wall or chains

To be honest I am not sure they are from any of Poe’s poems and stories although both manikins and puppets have been associated with many of the puppet shows that many have put on to put across some of Poe’s works. In 1995 A puppet adventure PC game entitled “The Dark Eye” was also based on his works. The “Puppet Show” is a really GREAT! song and the band are pulling all the right strings here for sure and its very much a strong contender for the albums TOP SPOT AWARD! It could easily be a firm favourite for most too I feel.

Track 3. Horror Vacui.

The songs title “Horror Vacui” in physics reflects Aristotle’s idea that nature abhors an empty space. In visual art the Latin meaning of “horror vacui” is “fear of empty space” and in Greek “fear of the empty”. It’s a form of art that involves the filling of the entire surface of a space or an artwork with detail as seen in the picture of the fall of Babylon by the French Renaissance goldsmith and engraver Jean Duvet below.

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The Fall Of Babylon

The Italian art critic Mario Praz used the term “horror vacui” to describe the excessive use of ornament in design during the Victorian age. The interest in meticulously filling empty spaces is also reflected in Arabesque decoration in Islamic art from ancient times to present. There are many other examples of it too and I quite like how the way they have gone about the lyrics in this song in the way of a scientific approach to prove the nonexistence of god.

There is quite an influence from the Canadian band Rush in this song and even the way they have gone about the lyrics is the sort of approach the now just recently sadly departed Neil Peart gave to that bands lyrics. The way the song is driven along by the keyboards and guitars also reflects the style of music that band was churning out in the late 70’s and early 80’s and the chorus of song has a very strong Rush influence.

Overall, “Horror Vacui” is another very well written and constructed song in that it also contains a fine bridge and they have thrown quite a lot into it over the just under five minutes you get here. It’s very much another song I would consider as a contender for the albums TOP SPOT AWARD! despite the heavy influence here.

Track 4. Love & Death.

A short piano interlude and introduction to the next song and I quite like how the effect of the stylus being dropped onto the record at the beginning with its crackle and pop gives it a warm feeling. It’s draws a picture in my mind of somebody sitting by the fire in a big house, perhaps even the House of Usher :))))).

It is only a short piece however, there is quite a lot that has been put into the melody of this piano piece and it’s a very well-constructed piece that does have you thinking that piece is twice as long as the one minute and ten seconds you get here. It’s quite strong with how the piece develops along and makes more of a bolder statement sort of thing and it sets up the next song very well indeed.

Track 5. You’re My Stream.

A powerful rock ballad of a song and one that was musically constructed around a very fine piano melody. Francis Gebirge’s bass works very well in accompanying the piano and strings and it also features Sofia Mazza who adds a touch of operatics to the song with her GREAT! voice along with Charles Wooldridge it works very well as a duet in putting over the lyrical content which pertain to restless love.

An official video of the song was put out on the bands YouTube channel that very well portrays the songs lyrics in the way of a picture animated storyboard sort of thing. The video was done by Davide Cilloni and he’s done quite a top job of it and it describes the story to the song right down to a tee.

You’re My Stream” is another really GREAT! song, it’s very well-orchestrated and arranged and everyone has done quite a top job on it to make it what it is. It’s also another strong contender for the albums TOP SPOT AWARD!

Track 6. In Loving Madness.

The songs title is perhaps not what you would read in an obituary column in a newspaper or see on a headstone in a graveyard as in the words “In Loving Memory” would suggest. However, if you were one of the sick twisted tormented evil souls the title here maybe more appropriate so to speak :))))).


It’s at this stage that the album does tend to sound more like there is a conceptional story going on and the lyrical content in this song does continue from the previous song. The lyrics are on the repetitive side in this song too but they do portray the power and strong bond of love in wanting to hold on to it in death very well, even to the point of being interwound and interlocked in the stream of their souls.

Musically it’s got some GREAT! progression here in particular with the key change that lifts it up around the 1:46 mark. I think most of the songs were written on the keys and once again we have some very good piano and orchestration here. The guitars also work their way in very well and the heavy metal section in the middle section is very well worked out and works wonders. There is also some Gothic choral sounds and bells that work very well in the piece and the band have really done a GREAT! job here.

Track 7. Sehnsucht.

Another short interlude and instrumental piece and the word “Sehnsucht” is a German noun translated as “longing”, “pining”, “yearning”, or “craving”. Some psychologists use the word “Sehnsucht” to represent thoughts and feelings about all facets of life that are unfinished or imperfect, paired with a yearning for ideal alternative experiences. Well that is how Wiki translates it and it sounds fitting to the effective piece done on the guitar here by Emmanuel Botch who I expect would have composed this little ditty.

Track 8. Shipwreck.

The next song is quite a theatrical and haunting bit of fun and is very different and sounds like something you might find in a Tim Burton movie. It’s like they are having a bit of a funfair carnival ride on this ship and its very cleverly done. It sounds like they have the crew joining in on the vocal side of things and if Charles Wooldridge done all the voices, I am hearing here that would be quite something special. Though I am sure there is also a female in this crew as well and it could be that Sofia Mazza may have contributed her voice to this song as well.

Musically you are not just getting all the fun of the fare with the organ, you also get a bit of a reggae vibe thrown in it which has me thinking of “Ghost Town” by the Specials. Although this is not so much like that song at all and they pack a lot more into it especially in the metal department with the guitars. Both Francis Gebirge’s bass and Aleksander Ladislaw’s drums play a good role in this very well constructed song. “Shipwreck” is a really GREAT! album track and another of the contenders for the albums TOP SPOT!


It’s also worth mentioning that Edgar Allan Poe’s one and only completed novel entitled The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket from 1838 also included various adventures and misadventures about shipwrecks, mutiny and cannibalism. It’s also said that his novel predicted the future some 46 years after it was published, as a yacht sank in real life and 3 of the 4 survivors also decided to eat the cabin boy. I am sure he made a tasty snack too :)))))). Although the lyrics in this shipwreck do not pertain to Poe’s novel and is more like a bunch of Jolly Rogers onboard the vessel having a bit of fun :))))).

Track 9. The City In The Sea.

We’re staying on the sea or rather in the sea for this next song and this is the only song on the album that uses one of Edgar Allan Poe’s poems for the lyrics and his poem also contained the same title. There is no doubt that Charles Wooldridge has done an exceptional job of putting Poe’s words into the context of delivering them as a song. This is something I also felt he done another super job with how he handled all of Stephen Crane’s poems that Dirk Radloff presented to him for the HeartScore album Black Riders Part 2.

Poe’s poem tells the story of a city ruled by a personification of Death using common elements from Gothic fiction. Which is very much what a lot of the subject matter of the material on this album is touching on.

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Once again theatrics plays a part here with how Wooldridge delivers the words with both speaking and singing roles and there is some GREAT! progression thrown into the musical side of things. Like the biggest majority of the songs they are written on the keys and the organ in this song does give it a Gothic touch and even an eerie haunting feel to it. The guitars and drums drive the song along and both the guitar and bass play very much an integral role in making this song stand out even more.

The band also spared no expense again by having an official video made which was done by Video maker & Director: Mattia Maffini who specialises in promotional videos and he’s done a SUPERB TOP JOB! on this video and it looks very professional.

Overall, a TOP JOB! has been done executing Poe’s poem and this is another really well worked out piece of work. It reminds me of a cross between Alice Cooper and the band Sparks and this is another contender for the albums TOP SPOT AWARD!

Track 10. Schizophrenia.

Roll up it’s time to take another carnival funfair ride into the world of madness and this is another short interlude and the final of the instrumental pieces on the album. It’s also a very well-orchestrated nice little ditty done on the keyboards.

Track 11. Ratz Everywhere!

Another song that would go down well in a Tim Burton movie and judging by the title it would perhaps suit an adaption of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Once again there is plenty that goes into making a song like this and you have to have quite a bit of skill to be able to pull it all off. I would also say that many of the songs on the album would present a challenge to be able to perform them live and they might need a couple of more musicians to do so.

There are quite a lot of influences in this particular song and even popular bands like The Police springs to mind in certain places. My favourite sections are where it comes down from all the mayhem and madness in couple of parts and brings in an acoustic section. In both of the acoustic sections Wooldridge uses the sweeter side of his voice and it reminds me a bit like Burk Shelley of the band Budgie with songs like “Riding My Nightmare“. Also, many others and it’s a really GREAT! transition that has more of a melancholic feel to it. “Ratz Everywhere!” is another really GREAT! song and yet another contender for the albums TOP SPOT AWARD!

Track 12. Why Does The Rabbit Want To Kill Me?

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The title very much puts in mind of the killer rabbit that was in the Monty Python film The Holy Grail and its one of my favourite parts in that film and extremely funny. The rabbit in this song is not funny but you would not want to mess with him :))))). Besides the keyboards and heavy guitars Gebirge’s bass features very well in this song and the bass line on the intro of the song reminds me of “Don’t Forget To Breath” by Arena. This is another very well worked out song and GREAT! track on the album.

Track 13. A Strange Case.

The final track on the album is the longest and weighs in at 6 minutes 36 seconds. It’s a song that has some really GREAT! progression along its path and its intro is as bold as brass with the orchestration. Besides the orchestration that also is utilised in the song it also has some very good thematic and theatrical parts that is worked in with some heavy metal and once again this is a very well-constructed fine piece of work. There are also many influences along the way here too and the likes of Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and even a touch of death metal gets thrown into the pot.

The title chosen here is often associated with detective stories and Edgar Allan Poe’s short story entitled “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” has been described as the first modern detective story. That particular story was also adopted and adapted by a Play Group and “The Strange Case of Hotel Morgue” is freely based on that Poe classic. It’s also interesting that both Poe’s ”The Fall of the House of Usher” and Robert Louis Stevenson’s ”The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” are representative of the Gothic tradition and the key aspects of the genre include an eerie atmosphere and psychological introspection.

However, what we have here is very much a Charles Wooldridge & Co. adaption and many of the songs along this album deal with the torment of life and the torture of death. It also deals with the power of love and evil and how in particular it’s controlled, and the story ends off where it all began with the puppet master pulling the strings.

To be honest I am not entirely sure what the concept story if it has one is all about. But I do feel that there is one here with how everything relates with the lyrical content. In many ways I could also see that some of the lyrical content throughout the album is also touching on reincarnation in a way that the torture never stops sort of thing. However, you look at the lyrical content there is no doubt that they are fitting with the works of Edgar Allan Poe and “A Strange Case” is very much my personal favourite track on the and merits the albums TOP SPOT AWARD! It also is like the chap at the very end was dying to put the album to bed as well :)))))).


To sum up the album Of Humanity And Other Odd Things by Philosophy Of Evil. I have to confess that this was quite a difficult album to get into hugely down to the many influences it has along the way. It did take me quite a good few spins for myself to see the woods through the trees or the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak before I got to appreciate the album a lot more. My immediate and initial response to the album was that I have heard it all before and do I really need another album like this right now.

I think another one of the things that did not help is that although I think the album has been very well produced. I personally think it could have been mixed better and the mix does let a few of the tracks down a bit. Most of the tracks can be very busy especially in the keyboard department with all the orchestral and stringed arrangements, the mix really needed more width for everything to cut through properly.

Some tracks sound like they are in mono because of the close proximity in the mix and it needed a bit more attention paid to the incrementation to separate the instruments properly. Some tracks can sound a bit cluttered and muddy in parts too though overall, the mix is not extremely bad enough to spoil your listening pleasure and is acceptable. It’s far from a really bad mix and in all honesty, I have heard a lot worse from many mainstream artists albums in the past. I would also say that your average Joe would not hear none of the things I have pointed out about the mix either, and you would have to be somebody like myself who pays closer attention to detail.

Well so far, I have only pointed out the negative points about the album, but after several listens to the album all of those soon went away and more of the positive side of the album did shine through far greater and spoke to me a lot more. Because of the many influences you will hear I do feel that this is an album that is not going to instantly grab you straight away, unless you can brush aside those influences that many other bands have presented us with in the past.

But there is something that lies deeper within the surface and what makes the difference is the skill that has been put into the song writing especially with how well they have constructed and developed both the music and vocal lines, and that in particular is where this album can shine if you are prepared to give it the time of day so to speak. The lyrical content and concept are also very good and that is where it also quite interesting and different.


Overall, P.O.E.’s debut album Of Humanity And Other Odd Things is a very strong well written album and there is not a bad track on it and it’s quite a strong solid album. It’s that strong that half of the tracks upon it are very much contenders as personal favourites and it was extremely hard for me to pick just one of them to be my favourite and I could have picked all the other contenders easily too. My personal highlights from the album are as follows: “Puppet Show“. “Horror Vacui“. “You’re My Stream“. “Shipwreck“. “The City In The Sea“. “Ratz Everywhere!” and “A Strange Case“.

The influences might be flying out of the woodwork but the way the band have carved and sculptured the material around the theatrical side of things, and blended it with metal, prog rock and classical music is quite a work of art and this is one very satisfying album that is well worthy of at least giving it shot. I am pretty sure it will not disappoint either especially if you want something to ROCK! your socks off.

The Philosophy Of Evil consist of really GREAT! musicians who certainly know there stuff to be able to knock out an album like this. Whether the band can take the album to the stage remains to be seen. But so far everything they have done in the way of going about things certainly appears to be right way and even the video production for the couple of songs on the album will testify to that. I do feel they need to get out there and play live to spread their name out a lot more. I also think they should do more to promote this CD simply because it’s very hard to obtain and they need to put it out in more outlets.

You can listen to the album on some streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. You can also buy the Digital Download of the album and CD here on Amazon Dot Com. https://www.amazon.com/Humanity-Other-Odd-Things-Explicit/dp/B07YGNF8TH But it is not available to purchase internationally on Amazon.

Although according to the most recent news about the band I have only just discovered. They have now been signed up to Revalve Records for the worldwide distribution of their debut album “Of Humanity And Other Odd Things”, which will be released in a few months’ time on the 3rd April 2020. So, it’s good to see they are sorting things out and they need to because this is an album I highly recommend.

I Will Show The Darkness, I Will Love The Pain…

The CD track listing is as follows:

01. Prelude. 0:33.
02. Puppet Show. 4:19.
03. Horror Vacui. 4:54.
04. Love & Death. 1:10.
05. You’re My Stream. 4:31.
06. In Loving Madness. 4:13.
07. Sehnsucht. 1:27.
08. Shipwreck. 3:40.
09. The City In The Sea. 4:03.
10. Schizophrenia). 0:52.
11. Ratz Everywhere!. 4:41.
12. Why Does The Rabbit Want To Kill Me?. 3:59.
13. A Strange Case. 6:36.

Lee’s Packaging Rating Score. 7/10.

Lee’s Price Point Rating Score. 8/10.

Lee’s Album Rating Score. 9/10.