Music Reviews

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Artist: The Soil Bleeds Black (@)
Title: Mirror of the Middle Ages
Format: 12"
Label: The Fossil Dungeon / World Serpent (@)
Distributor: Middle Pillar (US), Dark Vinyl (Europe)
The Riddick brothers are back with what probably is their most medieval album to this date, just one more work of love in the plethora of releases since their beginning, in 1992. 11 tracks on two sides (yes you've read right, this is a thick phat 12" LP, and for those who just don't get it -the vinyl thing I mean-, there will be a CD version of this record coming in the summer on World Serpent Distribution) with an array of traditional Renaissance percussive instruments (kick drum and tambourine mostly, but also timpani, woodblocks and stuff like that), string instruments (harpsichord, lyre/lute, acoustic/nylon guitar, dulcimer/zither etc) and lots of different breath instruments (flutes, pan-pipes, recorder, bagpipe/cornamuse/bladder pipe -only once, on side A- etc), as well as jew's harp, organ -just once, on side B-, bells and more. [I may have missed, added or wrongly identified some in the list, because there are some many, and they're so alike and so rare]. Eugenia Houston, with her high-pitch voice (ideal for this kind of chants), has pretty much taken over the singing job. While the twins orchestrate the songs, only occasionally do they contribute with their deeper vocal tone to remind what TSBB are also known for. But like I said earlier, this is quite definitely their most medieval/folkish work ever. It sounds like they put the dark vein aside and concentrated on actually quite solar folk tunes, embracing an authenticity that I have previously only heard from La Camerata Mediolanense. And because the italian guys I just mentioned are among the leaders in the genre, if you are into middle-age sonorities you should know better and make sure that this record becomes part of your collection, no matter if on CD or LP.



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