Every now and then even the most biecally metallic heart needs a pause for reflection, a moment in which to stop the whirling whirlpool of sound that surrounds it, giving itself a few hours of well-deserved rest. And since this heart of music can’t really do without it, there is nothing better than a record like this one by Ainulindalë to make a full load of inner peace, before throwing oneself head down into the painful pace of doom, in the destructive fury of death, in the despair of depressive or in the misanthropic nihilism of black, as the case may be. This band is nothing more than a solo project of Engwar (Thomas Reybard), a French musician who has been active with this moniker for over a decade but of which, however, the last consistent record dates back to the now distant 2004, with the debut album The Lay Of Leithian; his long-awaited successor, Nevrast, should not be considered only as a panacea for all ills, we mean, and gives us songs as light as feathers but as deep as the wells in the courtyards of farmhouses. This sound moves away from the apocalyptic tones of neo folk but makes room for more relaxed atmospheres, between chamber music and bucolic scents, if you will, comparable to what Vàli did wonderfully last year, although at a slightly lower level (and it would not be fair to expect so much from anyone who ventures into this genre) and with a more consistent use of classical instrumentation. Ainulindalë (the use of the plural for a one man band in this case is justified by the considerable number of guests who have provided their contribution) also fascinate thanks to their imagery heavily steeped in Tolkien themes and, without pushing too much on the epic side, Nevrast is littered with moments of great emotional pathos, especially when Engwar is joined by a female voice that further enriches the qualitative content. A series of songs rich in different nuances and excellent average level, among cuui I would report the enchanting Hither Land, Vinyamar and the title track, follow each other in the course of a work that does not disappoint but, indeed, fully satisfies even those who are not regulars of the genre, just for the lightness exhibited that should not be confused with a lack of depth but that is simply synonymous with compositional sensitivity, instrumental cleanliness, even candor through which we are ideally immersed in the enchantment of the scenarios well represented by Peter Jackson in the film adaptation of the Tolkien saga. As a well-known advertisement of my childhood used to say: against the wear and tear of modern life.
2014 – Independent
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