Music Reviews

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Artist: VV.AA
Title: Radio Rivendell Vol. 2 - The Book of War
Format: CD
Label: Waerloga Records & Radio Rivendell (@)
Rated: *****
This compilation might be the best one ever to be released in the genre of fantasy music not to a movie or game.
The album fits somewhere between the classical Hollywood soundtrack music to dark ambient.

Waerloga Records and Radio Rivendell evolve from their earlier collaboration which resulted in the appreciated first volume in
the series of compilations. The first was all about the new artists (almost at least) and with not as much exclusive material.

On "The Book of War" we got some established names such as Za Frûmi, Ataraxia and Unto Ashes but also some of the artists on
the volume 1. I should mention that some of those latter named are really talented in their own niche if you will.

Honestly, most of the artists on this compilation could do good soundtracks to movies, games or even regular albums.

When it comes to the music Dråm stands out a bit from the grandiose sound of most of the 17 artists.
They represent one niche which is the traditional folk music. Both members of the band are "Official Master Musicians of the Realm",
the finest honor bestowed upon a performer of traditional music in Sweden.
I loved the track even though I would have a hard time listening to a whole album only sounding like that.

Dimitrij Volstoj together with Lost Kingdom also stand out as both their tracks are slow and kind of low. They are both
extremely good and suits perfectly on the album.
Dimitrij is a classical composer and has conducted orchestras in France, Italy, Norway, Austria, Hungary,
the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Russia, Lithuania, Mexico, the United States and Canada.
Lost Kingdom are two guys from Sweden debuting (the same day as this album was released) with very good neo-classical music
released on Waerloga Records.

Sibelian stand out as the only one using metal in the music and also opera.

Erdenstern, Peter Szwach, Anabasis, Gargrim the Liar, Markus Holler, Encryption, Sean Beeson, Sully Koba and A Journey of the Mind all
sounds like more or less high class soundtrack music for a video game or movie.

Za Frûmi and Ataraxia bring some darkness to the table (other too but these two do it best) and also a lot of spirit.

Radio Rivendell and Waerloga Records have approached the project in a new way: they wrote a story of a war
between the dark lord Vojvod Szadrin (with his fearful troops of undead, demons and dark champions) and the heroic captain Angus (with his reiters, knights and infantry).
For this story (which is presented very well in the booklet) they made chapters which they later on named. These names became titles as the 17 artists/bands went into the project.
The artists had the titles to choose from and were only told a bit of the story.
Almost all the artist made new songs for this compilation.
Some songs will later on appear on albums and others will be exclusive for this release.

I love the idea and the way the story unfolds and how it is presented is stunning!
The writing really gets me into the story and the fine artwork and good packaging really make this release feel refreshing!

I am blown away by the brilliance of Gargrim the Liar who possesses the tools and the knowledge of everything in the world
of fantasy music. Za Frûmi is always great and shows it once again so no suprise there.
Erdenstern are strong, Ataraxia great, Markus Holler very cinematic...

I could go on and praise all the artists, producers and people behind this release forever!

This is a gigantic album from an extraordinary new genre called Fantasy music. The collaboration of the leading label and the
leading radio station in the genre is just great!
As always one might argue about a certain track or whatever but this album is not going in 100 directions as many
compilations do even though they are unified by a certain theme. This is more like having 17 acts making one story alive.
It´s a collective work that promise a follow up! I cannot wait for a third volume.

The album is just perfect.

Absolutely essential listening for anyone who loves fantasy. An important new thing has arrived!

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