DIES NATALIS: THE BRIGHT AND THE PURE
LP: Nielozilla NZ016 [2004]

Near Heaven/The Bright And The Pure/The Fortress
The Seventh Seal
Occitanias Knights

La Complainte Pour Esclarmonde De Foix
The Upward Spiral
Near Heaven II/The Bright And The Beast/The Stake

The dark German folk-pop band, Die Natalis, return with their new vinyl album, "The Bright and the Pure".

The dirge, that deep breath of life uncoils a dark spiral enveloping percussion and pipe with the introduction to the album, presented in three distinct instrumental parts. From medieval exploration, the second part of the introduction instills a classical grandeur of medieval fashion tweaked with orientalism, much like the Knights Templar in the Middle East, or more accurately a movie therof such is the music before it finally seals itself in the third part in pricks of xylophone drifting on banks of organ and muted choir. ‘The Seventh Seal’ brings familiar muted strums of acoustic guitars punctuated with ascending and descending arpeggios from organ synth over which lilting male voice is buoyed by the grouped and haunting female sighs. It is the last track of the first side that steeps itself in melancholy, groaning organs are barely able to raise heavy heads on the prompt of deep drum before finger-picked guitar laments ease the weight the synths bear. The ballad is launched in three voices that parallel each other in lyrics until the tension of the music subtlety shifts into chorus where each voice breaks into beautiful soliloquy before returning in unison to cycle the song’s progression.

The second side continues the trend of sad and dark folk strains with a female solo sung in French initially to the backing of solo flute until patters of finger-picked acoustic guitar and female backing singer evoke a direful passage when background samples of medieval battle, the clash of weapons, war cries, and screams of death accompany the music. Breaking the doleful exposition is the transition to ‘The Upward Spiral’, a rather upbeat guitar and vocal ballad, which while not in thematic musical accompaniment to the previous tracks serves as welcome rest without too much happiness. Ending the album is the tripartite instrumental outro that begins in unfamiliar emotional territory, as if awaking from a dream to a world where history is visible in the scenes that have left their mark on the land about the waker. Pizzicato strings wink as stars on the belly of the sky before launching an orchestral climax that tears away the veneer of dream to reveal darker and more vivid visions.


NYR


[Dies Natalis] / [Nielozilla]

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