Bewitching story with a heavy plot and and heavy guests leaves no ghost unturned – and leaves much to imagination.
One of the first British colonists in America, Eunice Cole became a victim of the Olde World prejudices: accused of witchcraft, she was imprisoned in 1656 and, once free, died alone only, as legend has it, to become a ghost that haunted Hampton until 1938 when, as part of this New Hampshire town’s 300th anniversary, she was absolved of all her alleged sins. Such tragedy deserves a rock opera, yet Robert McClung, a TELEGRGY mastermind, opted for largely wordless stance and propels the plot via short dialogs and the folky ballad “Meeting House Green” which intersperse an impressive collection of… intros. For all their brilliancy – made ever brighter by the likes of KING’S X’s axeman Ty Tabor and SPOCK’S BEARD’s keyboardist Ryo Okumoto – most of the pieces on display end before they satisfactorily develop, leaving the listener waiting in vain.
The scope is ambitious, though, McLung playing a staggering array of instruments here, from guitar and bass to balalaika and bodhran to piano and flute, but the choral “Rumors” with its prog metal riffage has no resolution, unlike “Voyage” that’s based on a traditional tune. On the other side of heaviness, TWISTED SISTER’s Dee Snider sounds great in a role of The Judge without singing a single note, while the guitar flight of dramatic “Accusations” which is adorned with ex-Hawk Nik Turner’s sax and comes genuinely moving before the orchestral wave crashes all over it – albeit, perhaps, not as moving as the powerful, reeds-raving “Ghost” or the sad, elegiac “Exoneration” flowing on the cello into a doomed eternity. Quite an uneven, if endearing, work.