|Trobar De Morte|
Trobar de Morte was originally formed by Lady Morte in 1999 as a solo project focusing on the romanticized musical styles of the middle ages. She soon joined forces with the duo of Sathorys to create a new project called Ordo Funebris. This band was short-lived and only stayed together for a year. After this break Lady Morte found herself alone again longing to create music as Trobar de Morte. The band lineup has changed somewhat over the years, but the current lineup consists of Lady Morte (lyrics, vocals, compositions, various instruments), Armand (percussion, bass) and Arianne (backing vocals, bells and tambourine).
As the new Trobar de Morte moved along writing and creating new music they continued to grow and progress. They recorded their 2003 release Nocturnal Dance of the Dragonfly. This four-track CD was acceped well by local press and fans and was a good start. The group started performing live the next year and worked on their popular track "La princesa Dolça de Provença" which was included on the excellent compilation of Spanish bands titled My Dear Freaks. At the same time the band put together a great selection of tracks for later release of their debut full-length album Fairydust in limited digipack release. This album was widely accepted with great acclaim from press, DJs and fans around the world, not just in the local Spanish scene. With this release the band picked up some great publicity and have been asked to perform in different parts of Spain and Europe including the prominent Wave Gotik Treffen festival in Leipzig, Germany.
That was just the beginning and the next few years the band remained busy composing more great music. In 2006 they released their long-awaited sophomore album titled Reverie. With this album they built on their mystic, fantasy-world style of music to a wide audience and high praise. It would be two years later when they released yet another highly anticipated album Legends of Blood and Light. Once again the fans were spellbound and audiences were pleased with another excellent album.
The music from this group is astonishingly beautiful and majestic. They manage to take all of the emotional and spellbinding aspects of the romanticized medieval times and mixed them with a fantasy-world of fairies and nature. Similar artists include Arcana, Die Verbannten Kinder Evas and slightly like Dead Can Dance and others.
Be sure to check this band out, they are definitely worth picking up whatever you can find. Listen to the ethereal radio show here for selections from this band.
Legends of Blood and Light - Review
After a couple of years we're presented with another spellbinding album from this band. I think most readers and listeners will notice a slight shift in style for this band from the dreamy fairyworld to a little more of a medieval pagan folk sound. Still captivating and beautiful with plenty of the elements that we've enjoyed in the past, but maybe now with a little more of an edge to it all. The album comes packaged in one of the more beautiful digipacks I've seen with stunning artwork depicting a lady astride a dragon with a castly in the background. This tri-fold digipack include artwork inside and out and a large booklet with more photos of the band members, lyrics and more artwork. The album contains another thirteen stunning tracks ranging from a dreamy somber beauty to an edgier medieval sound.
"No Return" starts off the album with this noticeable shift in style, the same solid percussion remains heavy and brooding, but more prominent guitar is heard here and throughout the album. The vocals are not so dreamy as direct and haunting, at times almost sinister such as on "The Sorceress" later on the album. Despite these subtle changes this work is easily recognized as Trobar de Morte. The haunting vocals on "Talisman" and background synthesized strings really bring out the tried and true sound from this group despite the added prominence of the guitar. The vocals on this piece are a bit more dreamy and haunting than much of the rest of the album.
It's hard to sum up and review this work or any album by this band without delving into detail on each track. Each piece is unique and captivating in it's own way, yet blends so well with the other pieces creating one great whole album. As we move along we see how these distinct style start to come together, usually across common threads such as the dull, beating percussion that moves many of the pieces along and brings forth visions of a hazy and dreary battlefield. In fact after the beautiful piece "Morrigan", the dark instrumental "In Nomine Filius Mortis" is a nice soundtrack piece to go nicely with a battle scene in Lord of the Rings or Braveheart. It starts heavy, yet subtle and builds with vocals, flutes, guitar and electronics and then moves solidly along and slowly fading out with the sound of wind, a raven and horses.
Again the album moves along through several ups and downs, dreams and nightmares, but always remaining captivating. Once we get into the second part, the last five tracks with the them of "Legends of Light", the mood shifts slightly as the tracks are about fantasy themes like the "The Last Unicorn", "The Sorceress", "The Seahorse" and ending on "The Fairies Wings". Most of these are peaceful, but exhibit that somewhat more sinister vocal style, especially on "The Sorceress". It all comes together nicely through these final tracks for another excellent album.
Reverie - Review
This is the highly acclaimed and long-awaited second album from this enchanting spanish band. This album is released in a beautiful digipack with a beautiful booklet with artwork, lyrics and photos. The album contains a concept that spans a Prologue, Epilogue and three chapters for a total of thirteen spellbinding tracks that will not soon be forgotten.
Readers will probably get sick reading how beautiful and captivating this album is, but it's pure delight in only the way this band can bring it together. The fantasy adventure begins with the "Prologue (Tierra de Hadas)" or land of fairies which opens the gateway for the listener to enter this fantasy world. Immediately we're presented with an upbeat and somewhat festive rhythm and overall ambience with "The Harp of Dagda". This continues on through the beautiful pieces of "Secret People" and "The Gnoms". Listening is like stepping into a fantasy world of Tolkien or some of the newly popular books and movies like The Spiderwick Chronicles, Fablehaven and others.
As we move onto the second chapter of "The Ancient Dreams", the music drifts off into a dark ambient introduction and haunting vocals. The percussion builds, but the mood remains somber and dreamy as one captivating piece after another is presented in beautiful splendor. The harp, pipes, subtle electronics and percussion all blend well to provide the background canvas for the artistic realm of Lady Morte's siren-like vocals.
The final chapter shows a subtle, yet distinct shift in style as we cover the "Dreams of the Middleages", starting off with a middle eastern twist in "Arabian Night". It's amazing how this band is able shift from seemingly one mood or realm to another so seemlessly, though the music is noticeably different in style. The style becomes more celtic and old english in style as we move on through the tracks and once again it's amazing how well all of this happens, the listener never feels interrupted or disturbed, but simply held captive by the beauty of one piece after another. We finally reach "Excalibur" as we start to wrap up the album. This piece has become a definite favorite of mine and listeners of the Ethereal radio show. The symphonic synths add a solid depth to the music along with the 3/4 lilting waltzing rhythm beat out by heavy percussion and it's great to hear another excellent track sung in the spanish language.
"The Lost Dreams" serve as the epilogue and finale to the album with somber guitar and flute bringing the album to a close in majestic beauty. Lady Morte graces us with her vocals one more time and the spoken and sung vocals make a nice mix. This piece drifts along and brings the listener slowy and gently back to reality for another great ending to another wonderful album by this group.
Fairydust - Review
Ever since the release of My Dear Freaks in 2004 with the appearance of "La princesa Dolça de Provença" I've been captivated by this group and have been longing for more. So it was a great pleasure to finally pick up this excellent album and hear it in it's entirety the first time. Since then it's been extremely hard to put this album down to listen to other things.
The album begins with "El Vals de las Adas de Ato�o" much like you might expect with a dreamy collage of string/synthesizers, acoustic guitar, angelic vocals and various other mood elements that transports the user straight into a fantasy land of fairies and other mystical creatures. From here on out it's just a beautiful orchestration of moods, vivid imagery and pure fantasy. "Natural Dance" is exactly what you might expect, a dance through nature accompanied by a steady beat and magical music. This all comes together so nicely with Lady Morte's solid vocals and the layered music that provide the solid threads intricately woven into a magnificent tapestry.
Containing the magical number of thirteen fantastic tracks, this album is something entirely captivating. Even on the short tracks that serve as something of an interlude the vocals and instruments hold the listener entranced in a world full of nature, magic and life. It's awesome how it all flows so well together from the dreamy soundscapes of "When the Night Falls", "Los Duendes del Reloj" to the more upbeat "Cuncti Simus Concanentes" with a festive beat. This leads us to the new version of "La princesa Dolça de Provença" with slightly different instrumentation and the same sweet captivating elements as the original. At this point the album is not even half way through and we still have seven excellent pieces left. Each of them is a masterpiece and a great addition to the album.
From this album we're able to see a mature sound that is enviable by any other band of this genre. This group is well on their way to becoming a musical icon in this scene with their excellent talents. If this album is any indication of what is to come we'll have plenty of great music to expect in the future like the legendary bands that have come before them.
For fans that enjoy a great mix of neo-classical, medieval and gothic ethereal music with haunting female vocals, this is definitely an album to pick up, listen to and enjoy!
Label: Drama Company & The Morningside