Band History


UK Medieval-Space-Rock Pioneers, Gandalf’s Fist have recently released their acclaimed 8th Album, Widdershins, adding another chapter in their musical journey which started in 2005.

Meeting at University and becoming good friends, drinking partners and pub-quiz teammates, Dean Marsh (Instrumentation/vocals) and Luke Severn (vocals) initially spent the subsequent two years releasing experimental instrumental tracks, however, the origins of their music go back much further. They start, depending on your point of view, with the golden era of Prog in the 1970s, the birth of English folk centuries before or, even in the time before time inhabited by Tolkien’s fantastical characters.
... Often wondering what Tolkien himself would have to say about their rock-tinged creations, they surmised that, with a pint of Mead in hand, he would probably have said ; “Hell Yes!” And proceeded to rock his socks off!

Gandalf's Fist drew on their mutual love for classic Prog bands such as Pink Floyd and King Crimson as well as influences from the NWOBHM scene including bands like Iron Maiden, Angel Witch and Diamond Head. Early on, the band became increasingly captivated by bands in the resurgent neo-prog scene such as Porcupine Tree, they were inspired to try and forge their own musical identity, creating music that, whilst not appealing to the masses, (and certainly not their neighbours) was the kind of music that they, themselves, wanted to hear.

After successful releases of the LPs "Road to Darkness" and "From a Point of Existence", winning widespread acclaim for their mix of Neo-Prog, Folk and Hard Rock, Dean moved the Fist’s recording studio permanently from West Cumbria to South Norfolk whereby Gandalf's Fist released their space-rock opus:‘ A Day in the Life of a Universal Wanderer’.

The record, seemingly transmitted from a derelict space station in the far reaches of the galaxy using instruments salvaged, is a cosmic jam across space and time exploring a mythical figure from the 26th Century – ‘The Universal Wanderer’ - who’s legend tells of a figure who has wandered the cosmos from the birth of existence to the end of time.

Following the widespread recognition the record received from national publications such as Classic Rock, Prog, Fireworks and Powerplay magazines, as well as Planet Rock and Team Rock Radio, Gandalf's Fist appeared on the bill at Planet Rockstock '13 alongside the likes of Fish, Hawkwind and Uriah Heep.

Following the performance, touring musicians Stefan Hepe and Chris Ewen were promoted to full-time band members as the medieval-space-rock-pioneers recorded and released their fifth, full-length studio release "A Forest of Fey" - an album which also featured guest contributions from high profile musicians such as Troy Donockley (Nightwish), Clive Nolan (Pendragon), John Mitchell (Arena/Lonely Robot/It Bites), Dave Oberlé (Gryphon) and Matt Stevens (The Fierce and the Dead).

The album received a great reception and was named “3rd Best Progressive Rock Album of 2014” by Classic Rock Magazine UK. All of that, however, has been dwarfed by their latest release: ‘The Clockwork Fable”.
The 3-CD conceptual tour-de-force is described as a “Prog-Rock-Mind-Movie” by the band and features Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon), Blaze Bailey (Ex-Iron Maiden) as well as some returning guests from  2014’s A Forest of Fey!

Set in the fictional world of “Cogtopolis”, each CD of the record serves as a different “act” of the story, with Dean and Luke, along  with guest vocalists, providing the singing voices of the inhabitants. However, things did not end there; the characters are also brought to life by a 50-page script that was professionally recorded by a range of hugely talented actors, including Mark Benton (Early Doors/Waterloo Road), Zach Galligan (Gremlins) and Bill Fellows (Ted Lasso/Coronation street) amongst others!

Aside from the depth of story and characters, Gandalf’s Fist had also fully developed the world of Cogtopolis. From geography, religious doctrines, even down to the language of Cypheridia, the amount of detail put into this conceptual piece is staggering, indeed, Classic Rock Magazine UK stated:  …"it reduces Rick Wakeman's King Arthur to the level of a Chas & Dave Cockney knees-up…9/10". 

The promotional music video for the lead single “Shadowborn” was nominated for the “Video of the Year” award in the 2017 ‘Prog Awards’, going toe-to-toe against he likes of King Crimson and Opeth.

In 2017, Following from successful live performances headlining the second stage at HRH Prog and performing their own headline theatre shows, the band were pleased to announce both touring musicians, Ben Bell (Keys) and Keri Farish (Vocals) as full time members. Following the release of the ‘festive’ single Winter’s Mourning – a song that was subsequently voted as one of the greatest ‘Prog’ Christmas songs of all time by readers of UK’s Prog magazine - The 6-piece embarked on the creation and the release of “The Clockwork Prologue” in 2019. The release, described as an “Expansion Pack” to the previous release, added nearly two hours of extra story and music to the “Clockwork” narrative with the majority of the original cast returning. The album received further acclaim including an impressive 9/10 score from

After a string of remixes, remasters and special editions of their earlier works, Gandalf’s Fist returned with an album of brand-new material in 2022 – “Widdershins”, an ambitious conceptual album about the superstitious side of human nature which focused on improved individual songcraft and production values. The album marked the third time working with Gryphon’s Oberlé who guests along with former Judas Priest Vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens on individual tracks. The album again received overwhelming critical acclaim including:

“a seriously ambitious, multilayered album” - Prog Magazine UK
"The apex of today’s Prog world" 5/5 -
“Gandalf's Fist are becoming more confident and rock-oriented with every new release… this is another step forward” 9/10 -
"Widdershins will end up among your favourite albums of 2022" 9/10 -
"Atmospheric, crafted, yet still forceful progressive rock" 4.5/5 -
"The most wonderful heavy prog you’ll hear's beyond superb" -
"Radiant melodic landscapes" 8/10 -

As Gandalf’s Fist’s reputation continues to grow within the Prog-Rock scene it is difficult to imagine what the future holds for this merry collection of musical adventurers, but what is certain is that it will be well worth sticking around to find out!