Herr - Vondel's Lucifer- First Movement [Cold Spring - 2006]Herrís second album Vondelís Lucifer has a wonderful audio story book feel, much like the old prog concept albums, but the musically pallet here is Neo Folk & neoclassical. All dramatic string work, forceful drumming, plucked acoustics harps and guitars etc. Really giving the material such a grand, powerful enchanted feel- much like adult story time really.
Iíll have to admit Iíve not really gone very far into either Neo Folk & Neoclassical Genreís- I heard a few albums worth of Current 93 stuff and a few bits and pieces of Death in June and few other artists bits and bobs, which felt for the most part like a copy of C93. But Herr really seem to have made their own sound domain here, like illuminated middle age biblical text brought to life. The text which the album is based on comes from 16th century German-Dutch writer and playwright Joost van den Vondel play Lucifer. Those familiar with Miltonís Paradise lost will possible recognized comparisons between the two, it is said Milton was influenced by Vondel text, which unsurprising is quite beautiful weaving of religious imagery and temptation. In Places this brings to mind Ulver's Marriage of heaven and Hells more Mellow moments. They utilize different voices to speak and sing the text in powerful and feeling manner- with clear diction that you feel and understand every word, which seems to give the text more feeling and depth of emotion. This really is a wonderful epic and dense album lasting 76 minutes in all, which by the end you feel youíve been on a magical journey, that is both beautiful enchanting and captivating.
This is the part one of their musically adaptation and interpretation of Vondelís Lucifer, and a really cant wait to hear the next part- A really rather wonderfully rich and poetic text, with equal rich and varied musically backing and vocal execution. Roger Batty