Category: Neofolk

Rome – A Passage to Rhodesia

Luxembourg’s Jerome Reuter continues to seamlessly blend history, art, and music into a cohesive whole with Rome and the new album A Passage to Rhodesia. This album examines the Rhodesian Bush War, or the Zimbabwe War of Liberation from 1964 to 1979. Much of this conflict had to do with the elimination of white minority rule that had resulted from European imperialism and colonialism in Africa, with repercussions continuing to plague that continent to this day. It is interesting to see a European musician examine this conflict. A Passage to Rhodesia is an album teeming with sensations of guilt, regret, shame, and conversely, optimism. (more…)

Empyrium – The Turn of the Tides

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German band Empyrium, having since last released an original album in 2002, returns 12 years later to put out a new dark, neofolk album The Turn of the Tides. Being my first album that I have actually heard by these guys, I can say for certain that this dreary, somber experience is an emotional one at that, with operatic vocals and sound style to that of classical music. (more…)

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Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat – Hewers of Wood and Drawers of Water

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Some time ago, I was looking at the artists that were recommended to me on my Last.fm account. Among those bands was a band with an interesting and strange name: Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat. The name refers to a medieval witchcraft ritual. This band from Belgium plays neo-folk in the vein of bands such as Hexvessel or Lux Interna. The music consists of acoustic guitar and drums, with a strong folk and almost shamanistic atmosphere. This music is ideal for the campfire in a forest. Hewers of Wood and Drawers of Water is Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat’s fourth full-length album and continues with their folk style. It opens with the slow acoustic guitars of the title track, accompanied by (more…)

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Tenhi – Saivo

Few bands are able to take a listener on such a mystical journey as Finland’s Tenhi. Saivo is Tenhi’s fifth full-length studio album. Tenhi’s albums tend to have some type of elemental theme that is reflected in the atmosphere of the particular album. In this case, Saivo seems apt for a foggy lake at night. Saivo opens with Saivon Kimallus, which firmly establishes the mood and atmosphere of this amazing album. It begins with dark ambiance before majestic piano and soft Finnish vocals take the listener on a mystical (more…)

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Neun Welten – Vergessene Pfade

There are number of bands in recent years that have managed to bring a sense of nature to their music. Among them is the German neo-folk Neun Welten and their debut album Vergessene Pfade—an album full of acoustic guitar, violin, drums, cello and flutes. If you want some forest music, then let this album take you the trees of your mind. Vergessene Pfade opens with Valg, which is quite representative of the entire album. It begins as a peaceful piece suitable for the forest with its acoustic guitar, drums, and violin before the song takes a more serious tone in the second half. The violin is an integral part of Nebekkand, which guides the song as flute and drums accompany it. The (more…)

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Vàli – Forlatt

Few debut acoustic albums are as successful as Vàli with Forlatt to take a listener on a nostalgic journey to times past or conveying a place epitomizing the tranquility of nature. Forlatt is thirty-five minutes of enchanting acoustic guitars, cellos, violins, and flutes that put you right in the middle of a forest. This album has a sound more suitable to times hundreds of years ago–not the second millennium of the Common Era. Forlatt gracefully opens with Naar Vinden Graater, which establishes the lush sound of Vàli with its emphasis on beautiful acoustic guitar joined with cello, violin, and piano. There are no vocals on this album, which are absolutely unnecessary and would detract from the (more…)

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Rome – A Cross of Fire

The year 2011 was a big year for Luxembourg’s Rome, as Jerome Reuter simultaneously released three albums that year as part of the Die Aesthetik Der Herrschaftsfreiheit trilogy. This trilogy of albums examines anarchist movements in Europe, during the first half of the twentieth century, looking at their hope, aspirations, and, ultimately, the implausibility of such (more…)

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Of the Wand and the Moon – The Lone Descent

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Kim Larsen’s Of the Wand and the Moon has become among the bigger names in the neofolk genre. Larsen is the mastermind of this project and surrounded himself with numerous guest musicians to craft a great piece of work with The Lone Descent. The Lone Descent consists of the neofolk acoustic guitar typical of the genre, but on this release, Larsen delves into (more…)

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Rome – Nos Chants Perdus

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Rome’s 2009 album, Flowers From Exile marked a significant shift away from the martial industrial sound that predominated early Rome albums. That shift continued on Nos Chants Perdus as Rome has basically abandoned what had been its core martial industrial sound to a dark-noir neofolk sound. Nos Chants Perdus is set with the French resistance as its backdrop—revolving around the French underground that resisted the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. The music is almost exclusively acoustic guitar accompanied by drums and occasional violin. Jerome Reuter’s deep voice is the main instrument and this album has shown how good of a vocalist he has become. His (more…)

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Die Weisse Rose – A Martyrium of White Roses

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Although Die Weisse Rose only has one album, they have already created a stir in the controversial martial industrial neofolk genre. The band name refers to a German resistance group that resisted the Nazis. Die Weisse Rose is also a bit of a supergroup that has seen involvement from prominent figures in the genre, but primarily led by Thomas Bojden, who also does the predominant spoken word vocals. A Martyrium of White Roses is their only album and it is a very solid work. The atmosphere is quite dark, (more…)

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