Friday, October 10, 2008

Of the Wand and the Moon - Nighttime Nightrhymes (1999)

The promotional preamble material for Of the Wand and the Moon alluded to a sound akin to the works of Sol Invictus and Death in June and while this may be true to a point it in no way does justice to the originality expounded in this release. To be honest I did not know what to expect at first but any preconceptions were soon laid waste after the first hearing. Employing a variety of ethnic instruments, including string and wind, Kim Larsen gives each track a confident and accomplished sheen.

Through the music the hushed, whispering, vocals manifest themselves, at times brooding then summoning and plaintive. A number of tracks stand out such as 'Raven Chant' and the majestic 'She, with whom compar'd, the Alps are Vallies'. The excellent scope of musicianship evident for the entirety of Larsen's project propels the songs along and adds a unique flavour to each. Much of the background to this CD resides in the blue/black twilight of the Northlands and I found that rich, heady mead of music contained therein gives a fleeting blush of radiance amongst the pale shadows which lie at it's heart.

The CD is further enhanced by a booklet containing photos of Nordic 'sand sculptures'. Silently contoured by deep shadows, they allow for a physical expression of the mood within the music. Brilliant, unexpected and highly evocative, I look forward to more from Saturnus' Kim Larsen.

Review taken from FLUXEUROPA.

01 - Gandr
02 - I Crave for You
03 - Lion Serpent Sun
04 - Sól Ek Sá
05 - In the Colours of Night
06 - The Substance of Simplicity
07 - Raven Chant
08 - She With Whom Compar'd the Alpes Are Vallies
09 - VargQld
10 - Wintry Mantle
11 - Nighttime Nightrhyme
12 - Mauna