Genre - Neofolk
1. The Owl
Neofolk music can be a peculiar and hugely encompassing genre at the best of times. On one hand you have the apocalyptic and unashamedly nihilistic style in where acts such as CURRENT 93, DEATH IN JUNE and SOL INVICTUS would be the main pillars from which all other strands emerge from, and then you have the rather more delicate, nature inspired style which is weighted heavier on the acoustic folk side of things where acts such as TENHI and OF THE WAND AND MOON are the front runners. EBON LORE fall on the latter end of the spectrum, and a band that should certainly appeal to fans of VALI, TENHI and NEST. The band are in fact a side project of Nachtzeit, the genius behind the Swedish Black Metal act LUSTRE, a band who I hold in very high regard, so upon discovery of this fact my interests were certainly piqued to say the least.
“Wisdom of the Owl” is a brief debut EP offering clocking in at only sixteen minutes or so, but it’s sixteen minutes awash with nothing but emotion and endless atmosphere. The acoustics shimmer like the vast snow carpeted firmament throughout ‘The Owl’ and accompanied with that distant solitary hum, it showcases this style of music in its fully naked and primal grandeur. It’s essentially just one man and his guitar surrounded only by the majesty of the nocturnal wilderness. As by now you’ve probably guessed that the vocals don’t really play much of a role on this EP, this style of neofolk was never vocally centred anyway, and with ‘Flying’ they’re restricted to a lone line stretched repeatedly over the flitting guitar. Again it’s beauty in simplicity that’s showcased here, the guitar meandering through the song with wistful abandon. ‘Woods’ adopts are more chord based structure, layered upon by that glistening guitar work by our lone wanderer and together with the closing synths is as best I can describe a musical opiate.
This is a project I would be very interested to see expanded on, because for me its whole appeal is in its sedate, laid back ambient approach and the sheer mesmerising simplicity of it all. Just listen to ‘Woods’ and you’ll experience exactly what I mean, it will take you on a journey above a sparse, unforgiving Northern landscape illuminated only by the moon and the sounds of the wild with your only accompaniment your inner thoughts. This is exactly what is meant by music that draws its inspiration from nature. Recommended to not just fans of neofolk, but anyone at all.
Sounds like - Tenhi, Vali, Neun Welten
Originally written for Metal Observer