Reviews: classical

(neo-classical / ethereal / heavenly voices)

Sally Doherty & The Sumacs – Edge of Spring

My first acquintance with Sally Doherty was when she was a member of Sol Invictus. Later I discovered the solo oeuvre of this singer and musician from Sheffield. Edge of Spring is a lovingly assembled collection of songs from the last decade. It contains songs from five albums by Sally Doherty and her Sumacs, as […]

Max Richter – Songs From Before

During the more restless autumn days there is one cd which brings me in a state of calmness: Songs From Before, the new ‘post-classical’ creation of Max Richter. Its delicate music is comparable to his previous album The Blue Notebooks (2004), though with slightly sparser compositions.

Parca Pace – Raumspannung

Parce Pace is one of the manifestations of the the Crescens Collective, and in particular it’s a solo creation of Jan Carleklev. Just as I’m used to from related projects like Sanctum and Mago, Raumspannung is a very well produced album.

Autunna et sa Rose – L’Art et la Mort

A lot of attention has been paid to the packaging of this record. The cd comes in a full color glossy booklet with extensive information on the music. Musically you could describe this release as chamber music or classic gothic inspired theatre music.

A Challenge of Honour – Seven Samurai

It’s almost impossible to keep up with the production of A Challenge of Honour and related projects. This Dutch act around Peter Savelkoul keeps on releasing material. Often limited vinyls or cd-r’s on obscure labels. This is a regular cd though, on Divine Comedy Records. The first description that comes to mind when hearing Seven Samurai is […]

Ashram – Shining silver skies

Ashram’s debut album was a nice piece of work, so I was pleased to hear that this Italian trio has delivered a follow-up. Like before, the core of the band is formed by three musicians: Luigi Rubino (piano), Sergio Panarella (vocals) and Alfredo Notarloberti (violin).

Clair Obscur – In out

Clair Obscur has always followed its own unconventional course. The French band was initiated in the wave/industrial scene of the early 80’s. Theatrical aspects play a clear role on “In Out”, an LP originally released around 1988.

Maja Elliott – 1000 Water Craters on the Sea

Maja Elliott is a pianist, singer and composer. In recent years she often worked with Current 93. On the short cd “1000 Water Craters on the Sea” she follows an experimental ethereal/ambient approach.

Dark Sanctuary – Exaudi Vocem Meam I

An album filled with highly romantic neo-classical music. Dark Sanctuary treats us to very elegant compositions, lovely ethereal female vocals and an atmosphere instantly reminding you of impressive gothic cathedrals.

Ataraxia – Arcana Eco / Obscura 1

For many years Ataraxia is one of the best known neo-classical bands in the world. The Italian band has released many records on various labels. Ark records now released a cd and book, which can be seen as a tribute and celebration to the work of the band. The book consists of texts about elements that are the sources of inspiration for the musicians…

Ataraxia / Autunna et sa Rose – Odos Eis Ouranon – La Via Verso il Cielo

This limited digipack contains two cd’s: one by Ataraxia and one by Autunna et sa Rose. Both bands have reinterpreted some of their tracks in an acoustic manner for this release. The occasion for this split release was a special live performance of the two Italian bands at the church of St. Michele in Rovigo. The Ataraxia disc is entitled “Strange lights”…

Terry Bozzio + Metropole Orkest – Chamber Works

‘Chamber Works’ is released on the Favored Nations label and features drummer Terry Bozzio and Holland’s classical Metropole Orkest. The combination of Bozzio and the Metropole Orkest may seem an unlikely one given Bozzio’s biography; he’s drummed behind guitar legends Frank Zappa and Jeff Beck, and has also kept the time for the Brecker Brothers and the UK’s Missing Persons…

Amber Asylum – GardenOfLove AutonomySuite StillPoint

After a quartet of albums, numerous compilation appearances and collaborations with the likes of Neurosis and the Swans, Amber Asylum from the USA is back with a new, self-released record. The ten inch looks nice and contains three new tracks, with a total length of about 25 minutes. The music of Amber Asylum is very hard to describe…

Shadowsphere, The – Through the field

The Shadowsphere is a young group from Finland, founded by Andy and William Klove. According to their biography they started as a ‘goth band’, but they ‘shortly noticed that one genre is too narrow a niche when it comes to expressing ourselves’, so they ‘moved on to wider fields’. Their self-released debut EP contains four tracks, including two versions of the title track…

V/A – Fairy World II

Prikosnovénie seems to have made their various artists release Fairy World into a series, as they now released part two. Again you get a cd filled with music that shows the style of the label: fairy world music. For those who are not familiar with the sound it is world and folk music made with an open mind and various music influences but always with a fairy (tale) atmosphere…

Last Fall, The – Unknown Treasures

The Last Fall is a project by Alain Posset from Belgium. I had almost forgotten about his existence, since his first self-produced cd “Flood in light” came out in 1999. But now The Last Fall is back with a new album. It contains almost 40 minutes of instrumental music mostly created with electronical means. The music verges on the border of ambient and neo-classical…

Proscenium – Behind the curtain

Proscenium (a theatrical term) is the new project of Anders Calderon from Sweden, who used to work under the name of Mortaur. From that early incarnation I only heard the album “Horror Vacui”, which was available as a free download for a while and which displayed pretty solid dark ambient…

Falling You – Touch

John Michael Zorko is either lazy or a perfectionist (or both), since the previous Falling You cd appeared in 1998. I go for the second option, since “Touch” sounds very refined and detailed…

Ghost Fish – S/T

Ghost Fish is a new project, which features Daemonia Nymphe, Louisa John-Krol, and Nikodemos Triaridis. This collection of fine musicians promises a lot. Also the beautiful artwork helps to raise the expectations. When listening to this album you cannot escape to discover the variety in music and also some incoherence in the material presented…

V? li – Forlatt

The debut album of V? li, a one-man from hailing from Norway. About half an hour of moody, peaceful music between neo-classical and folk, almost completely based on acoustic guitar.