CD: Cynfeirdd CYN035 [2004]
Ltd x 499

Song of Shadow and its Dream
Axe and Flower ˆ Two Faces
Sheath and Knife
Diamonds in your Hand
In Erwartung
Red-Yellow Autumn Funeral

This is the first official studio release of Russian neo-folk act, Neutral, despite a history that wends its way back to 1994 and a subsequent history of demos and CDRs through mutations of music to its present, polished form.

There isn't anything particularly striking or original with Neutral's music, in truth they ensorcell with a similar flourish folk music like Backworld, Sorrow or In My Rosary. Yet such comparison should not detract from what is an equal ally with its own carefully molded tracks of transcendence and beauty. Male and female vocals mesh harmonic melodies over crisp dueling acoustic guitars, layered with carefree, ethereal strings, that glide beneath and above the graceful atmosphere Neutral invokes. Each track prompts subtle or striking difference from the next; percussion on one track steps up the tempo with quick guitar chords and demagogue male voice ala, Of the Wand and the Moon, while electric guitar proves strange but welcome entry into the mix on another. Point should be made that for the heritage the English lyrics are casually glib and if not for knowing this music came from Russia a listener would be hard pressed to pinpoint just where in Europe the music hails. The music is well performed and produced. It glistens with the diligent adherence to post-production you‚d expect in any top studio, which sadly does not always accompany released music of this nature. While only six tracks, the album clocks in just over forty minutes and is easily another gem to the collection of haunting splendor of neo-folk.

Released as a digipak with an eight-page colour booklet in a limited series of 499.


[Neutral] / [Cynfeirdd]

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