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This is the first release of ex-Saturnus guitarist Kim Larsen’s new neo-folk project. So far, I think I like this one the best. The other two full lengths have a lot more ambient parts that are not folk at all, and some of that is pretty good, but some of it doesn’t really go anywhere. This one is basically all short, fairly simple folk songs. Music definitely doesn’t have to be complex to be good. There are all kinds of people on this album actually, also ex-Saturnus Jesper Saltoft does drums on one song, and Brien Hansen takes care of “Sound Constructions.” There are also synthesizer used, and violin, cello, and flute.
Kim Larsen’s vocals are extremely relaxed and restrained, basically whispering throughout most of this, sometimes more like soft talking, VERY similar to Death in June. This vocal style is sometimes heavily criticized but I think it works very well like that.
The first track, written in “runes” is just a short intro with some manipulated vocals, nothing much. ‘I Crave for You” is a basic OW&TM song, dark acoustic strumming, whispering, and later adding some percussion, with almost unnoticeable, but necessary, underlying keyboard ambience. “Lion Serpent Sun” has some low-pitched piano playing, a few strange ambient noises, along with slightly more upbeat strumming with an excellent melody. “Sol ek Sa” is a little different, it consists of Violins and Cellos instead of acoustic strumming; it’s a particularly dark and depressing track. “In the Colours of the Night” is probably my second favorite song here, it simply has some of the best acoustic melodies... that’s all there is to it. It is a little more upbeat, particularly in the “chorus” which adds some percussion, not drums though, more like a little maraca or something. “The Substance of Simplicity” is one of the more ambient songs, with mostly just this atmospheric, almost mechanical noise on top of some simple strumming and distant murmurs.
“Raven Chant” is defiantly my favorite song here. Along with excellent acoustic melodies, there is the addition of a clarinet, (which isn’t listed in the booklet so I think it’s synthesized – but still sounds good) Clarinets or Oboes turn any song to gold, and this is no exception. It is quite upbeat, kind of joyful almost compared to the rest of the album, has a lot of percussion, and more of a verse-chorus structure and the chorus is stunning, and I can’t stop tapping my fingers when it’s on. The melody will get stuck in your head for days, and you will want it to. Next is “She with Whom Compar’d the Alpes are Vallies,” this song is also a lot different and upbeat, sounding more like traditional folk. The previous reviewer said a mixture of Led Zeppelin and traditional folk, and come to think of it that is a pretty good comparison. “VargQld” is a deviation from the rest of the album, containing mostly drums and violins. “Wintry Mantle” is very calm, starting out with some ambience then turning into a very laid-back rhythm with heavy bass and some kind of medieval sounding synth’d instrument that kind of reminds me of Current 93. “Nighttime Nightrhyme” is probably the most relaxing track, containing mostly clarinet. The last track is like the first, a short ambient sound, but then a few minutes of silence followed by 6 minutes or so of ambience.
This is a great CD for an intro to the neo-folk world including bands such as Tenhi, Forseti, Nest, Orplid, newer Empyrium, Sol Invictus, Current 93, Death in June, etc. and great if you are already into those bands. Of Wand & The Moon is currently working on a new album called Sonnenheim, keep your eyes peeled for it.
I have recently had the pleasure of listening to one of the most beautiful albums ever written. Of the wand & The moon's debut album Nighttime Nightrhymes is a pure masterpiece. It's all done on Acoustic Guitar with many session musicians doing everything from Clarinet, Flute, to Violins and Cellos and Keyboards. This album is definately pure masterpiece in my opinion. Most songs Kim Larsen whispers during the track. It's a good element to add to the atmosphere.
I crave for you is the first actual track on this album(the first one is merely an intro). It has a really powerful feel and the force it delivers is absolutely earth shattering. The chords on the acoustic guitar are pretty fast and hammering. The Background you can hear a bit of synth elements in it.
Lion Serpent Sun starts out with an odd background sound. Slowly coming in with a piano and acoustic guitar. As the song goes on you can hear a second one along with some percussion in the background.
Sol ek sa begins with merely the stringed instruments playing alone. It's pretty majestic. Then becomes a bit like a depressing waltzy type song. It pretty much keeps the same melody throughout this piece.
In the colours of the night is a darker song. Or more a depressing song. Both emotions can be captured when listening to this song.
Raven Chant is one of my favorite songs on the album. The clarinet makes it sound great and the lyrics capture so much emotion in the song. It's so sad and at the same time so beautiful. Clearly a masterpiece and a memorable song on the album.
She With Whom Compar'D The Alpes Are Vallies reminds me more of a mix of led zeppelin and folkish type theme. A lot lighter mood, especially when compared to the previous song: Raven Chant.
Vargold is another majestic piece. With Percussion and stringed instruments taking over for the often present acoustic guitar themes.
Nighttime Nightrhymes is a slower song for the ending of the album. Basically leaves you in complete awe and gives you the urge to play it over again.
Clearly this album can be defined as a masterpiece. Despite the fact it is only over 30 minutes long. Could've been longer but that might also have made it too long. Taking away the brilliance in this work of art. I am hoping to find Emptiness Emptiness Emptiness and the other releases by Of the wan and the moon.