Interstellar Reunion - Review
It's always nice to be presented with follow-up sophomore albums from promising bands after reviewing their debut album and looking forward to what might come next.
In the case of this duo we can see that though several years have past, they've managed to maintain their solid foundation and coninued to make their creative style of old-world, ethereal music. On this sophomore work we're presented with eleven hauntingly beautiful pieces with various themes from focus on the heavens, planets, stars, to our own world and the celestial beauty and mystery that surrounds us all.
The album is a veritable cornucopia of mixed elements from synthesized electronic strings, various percussion, a myriad of stringed instruments w/ guest musicians (guitar, cello, dulcimer, piano, etc) and always a unique blend of vocals with mixed male and female and often layered in various beautiful harmonies. As with most albums there are some tracks that stand out and captivate the listener's attention more than others, depending on mood, personal taste and style and so on. For me it varies throughout the album from piece to piece. Starting it all off is a definite favorite in "Vicious Circle". Since it's the introductory track, it helps to set the tone and mood for the album as acoustic guitar, a range of subtle to bombastic percussion amidst various instruments create a backdrop for the harmonized beautiful vocals. The title track follows next and since I'm a sucker for classical piano as my own instrument of choice, this one also stands out in my mind as a captivating piece as the beautiful piano compositions beautifully move along as the backdrop to the simple vocals. As the album drifts dreamily along we come to a few more pieces like these including "Dark Planet". This little gem starts off with dreary, ambient sounds that slowly builds into a somber reflective piece with subtle percussion and a more or less simple piece. The dreamy music continues to come in waves from "The Birds the Sea the Waves", the beautiful acoustic guitar on "Silent Prayer" and as the album winds down with "Approaching Earth" and the final piece "Merel (If I had wings)".
The description of these few tracks hopefully portray the style and mood of this album. Each track has it's own unique signature and when combined together as a whole on this album, they all come together well. Any fans of the debut album will love this work and will notice the continued refinement of their own style and sound. Overall I think it's a great album and a nice addition to any fan's library.
Embrace The Fool - Review
We introduce this long-distance duo as Marcel Schiborr of Germany and Saskia Dommisse of the Netherlands. Though they first met in 2003, this is their first official release (2007) and through the miracle of modern technology they have managed to put it all together remotely and come together just to record it at a studio in Germany over the space of just over a week.
So now we have this excellent work in the form of 13 beautiful tracks bridging the gap of time and presenting us with time-honored treasures of beautiful old-world style ethereal music.
While the influences from bands like Dead Can Dance
are very apparent, it is also very clear that they have been able to write and compose their own music that is very much their own style that will be easily recognized over the years. This album is a true treasure with pieces featuring male and female vocals, sometimes mixed, sometimes solo, sometimes harmonized but always beautiful and memorable.
I was first introduced to this group with their selection "The Invisible Dancer" from the Lightwaves Part II
compilation from Kalinkaland Records
. That was a mesmerizing piece and now we have an entire album of these selections to choose from. Once again as I sit down and listen to the album several times over I try to pick it apart and put it all back together again in my mind, imagining all of the instruments being played, which are many with the inclusion of several guest musicians. But when you get right down to it, for me it's the beauty in several of the pieces that stand out and catch my ear. "Ecstatic Dance" is probably my favorite from this disc, though I don't understand the lyrics, the mixture of male and female vocals and various world instruments are captivating. The first piece (and title track) "Embrace the Fool" also stands out in much the same way, although the lyrics are in english and so understandable. This also seems to be the most like Dead Can Dance
from the album, but I think that this is fine since within this genre of music it would be impossible to not be compared to that legendary band.
Most of the album actually moves along with an acoustic guitar and somber beats with what you might term "normal" vocals and lyrics without the world and ethnically driven feeling and mood. Though these are all great pieces, they just don't stand out like some of these other previously mentioned tracks. As the album wends along through a somewhat meandering path of tracks like "My Moments of Tranquility", "Ode on Melancholy" and "I Drowned in You". As we get to "Traveller of Stars" that captivating quality comes out again that stands out against the rest of the material. The album starts to wind down with each new beautiful piece until we're left with "In Your Dreams" and "Soul Friend" which is a perfect way to wrap up the album, with the beauty of Saskia's vocals.
With that we wrap up this review and hopefully show to the world what one can expect from this disc. It's a great addition to anyone's ethereal collection and something to help replace the void left behind by the absence of groups like Dead Can Dance
Embrace the Fool Label
: Equilibrium Music