Oraison – Au commencement…

Oraison is a French neo-folk band which I already had noticed on a few compilations before. Now they have released a full-length album on the German VAWS label. But actually this is not a regular album, “Au commencement…” contains songs of their demo “Life+death=Love=Burden” plus some live tracks and some earlier songs. The songs were recorded between 1996 and 2000.

The album directly starts with its highlight, ‘The Rebellion’, a very catchy neo-folk song, with a nice melody and powerful percussion. Various pleasant songs follow, all with a rather conventional neo-folk sound, lead by acoustic guitars. The general mood is warm and a little romantic. At times the drums come a little to the foreground, and the atmosphere is sometimes raised with some subtle keyboard sounds. Especially nice are the songs which contain an alternation of the low male and angelic female vocals.

Most noticeable amongst the live tracks are ‘Blood Royale’, known from some samplers, and a convincing cover of Black’s classic ‘Wonderful life’. The sound quality of these live tracks and demos is not always optimal, but this is not annoying. Though Oraison does not add something really new here to the neo-folk genre, I quite appreciate this pleasant album, which contains some very nice compositions.

artist: Oraison
label: VAWS
details: 12 tracks