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Serene, beautiful dark folk needs more substance - 70%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, October 11th, 2017

Dedicated to the fungi that help to break down and decompose organic material for the nourishment of the soil, this instrumental meditation describes in music form the life cycles of these beings. Through the life cycles of these beings, neither plant nor animal, listeners can gain a better appreciation of the complexity of nature and the Earth's ecosystems, and the place humans have within them. For this reason, the music evolves slowly and repetitively, and patience is a necessary virtue to be cultivated. A side benefit from all the repetition is the brooding hypnotic effect the jangly acoustic guitar and the lilting melodies can have on listeners which gains them entrance to a secret underground world of hidden treasures and wonders.

The recording is split into two parts: Part I features some very beautiful plaintive melodies that build up a definite quiet and contemplative mood. It does ebb and flow as if progress in one part of the fungal universe has stalled and is even degenerating, to then reverse and start going forward again. This can be frustrating for some listeners expecting steady advancement from spore to more mature and complex stages of development. Only towards the end of the long track does a definite atmosphere evolve and I wonder why this evolution comes so late in the piece. I really think Part I could have benefited from some editing for length.

If Part I was slow and gradual, Part II meanders a lot and slowly if gradually takes its time to build into something quite substantial. As with Part I, sections of the track could have been tightened up for length with no effect on its hypnotic quality or meditative mood. Much of the music is a really pleasant stroll and I don't quite get the feeling of one little fungus multiplying, even if very slowly, into a giant horde ready to take over and nourish depleted ecosystems when eventually humanity dies out.

Overall the music is very beautiful, calming and serene but I'd have liked some suggestion of a sinister quality, even some malevolence, to give it some tension, some presence, of a collective being whose destiny is to inherit the Earth and refashion it in its own way. The mostly acoustic dark folk guitar music needs to be matched by a counterpoint bass background or something similar to gain more substance. I like the concept behind the album and it certainly deserves more substantial music than what's been offered so far.