Dies Natalis – Abyss

I’m pleased to see that Dies Natalis are back with four new tracks. There has been some confusion whether this band was still alive or not. I have seen announcements that they would quit, and I even read that this “Abyss” mini cd would be their swansong. But apparently they have found new energy to continue. The line-up has changed a bit (W.A.R. is no longer part of the band) and new concerts have been announced. At the time of writing this review the Dies Natalis website is under construction, perhaps it needs to be refreshed to reflect the new era in their career.

“Abyss” is their third release, after their breakthrough 10″ “Raunen” and their 2001 album “Vom Gedanken… und der Erinnerung”. The cd comes in a fold-out booklet, with some nice black & white nature photographs. The music starts with a classical intro, romantic and moody, with the sound of the sea in the background. After a minute and a half an acoustic guitar is introduced, and some soft almost spoken vocals, reminding me somewhat of Darkwood. As the song evolves we are treated to a surprising refrain, with several voices and percussion. Dies Natalis have also been of the most accessible neo-folk groups, and they prove again that they can write a catchy melody.

‘The past dies in a crime’ is an intimate sober ballad, consisting mostly of guitar and vocals, which are alternately sung and whispered. Again this song has a more uptempo, enthousiastic refrain, with energetic singing (the line ‘The past dies in a crime’ is repeated over and over again) and a flute melody. ‘From dusk to dawn’ starts lovely, with guitar and melancholic strings. The song expresses longing and melancholy, it’s a nice tune to sing at the campfire. The final track ‘Lunan’ is centered around a German text, which is spoken, nicely accompanied by acoustic guitars.

As usual the songs of Dies Natalis are quite simple, and the instruments and vocals do not demonstrate exceptional skills. But they make up for that with sincere enthousiasm and passion, which make these new songs very pleasant to listen to and a convincing come-back. I hope to be able to witness them live soon, because then Dies Natalis is at its best.
‘All the days will end, and begin again’.

artist: Dies Natalis
label: Eis & Licht
details: 4 tracks [Eis028]