SMILES: THE LAST GREEN DAYS OF SUMMER
LP: Ahnstern 11 
Ltd x 500
- The end of winter
The last green days of summer
Armageddon is a sunny day
Smiles are the first act to grace what has been otherwise been the home
of Allerseelen’s releases, the label Ahnstrern, and with such austere
precedence the newcomer’s stake their own territory with deft bravura
that does not find them wanting as label-mates.
Medieval reenactment folk-music isn’t anything new, in itself it
is a continuing legacy spanning centuries, yet there is no short supply
of European acts inspired by such a rich platter one that finds meal at
many a table not just the dark and experimental underground. Riharc Smiles
brace tradition with fine musicianship, their music tending to be of the
mellifluous sort on this album, yet not afraid to stride somber march.
Bagpipes flute sinuous patterns above the patter of hand drum, accompaniment
of crisp glissando guitar, while the vocals foment audience participation
and carefree revelry. There is twinge of Sopor Aeturnus that is unmistakable
yet for the most part Riharc Smiles stray more medieval paths without
compromising their style with mere medieval ‘cover’ tunes;
they perform pleasant diversion without cliché.
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