Friday, August 1, 2014

Romowe Rikoito - "Austradeiwa" [2005]

Artist: Romowe Rikoito
Title: Āustradēiwa
Genre: Neofolk, Neoclassical
Country: Baltic Lands
Year: 2005

Track List:
  1. Etbaudisna
  2. The Quest
  3. The Rose and the Cross
  4. A Sea-Spell
  5. Song Of Proserpine
  6. Blueberry Song
  7. Artémis
  8. Austras Swaikstan
Romowe Rikoito, formed in 1995, are the pioneers of post-Soviet dark folk scene (which is and always was quite small), along with Neutral. If I'm not mistaken, they're originally from Kaliningrad, but have strong ties with Lithuania, and prefer to call their location just "East Prussia" or "Baltic Lands". Everything they've composed sounds quite beautiful, but I personally find their first two albums a bit boring. "Austradeiwa" is their 3rd album, which I consider to be their best (even though it has some boring parts too - but what album hasn't?) In particular, "Austras Swaikstan" is one of the best neofolk compositions I've ever heard.

The most interesting part of this album is a couple of tracks with lyrics in Old Prussian language ("Austras Swaikstan" and the opening track). To my knowledge, the only other band to sing in Prussian was Kūlgrinda (on the album "Prūsų Giesmės"), but their music is authentic Lithuanian folk which is much harder to get into than Romowe Rikoito's neofolk

As it's evident from my blog, I listen to a lot of music with lyrics in exotic languages, but RR are one of the few bands that really managed to surprise me. In fact, my only thought during my first listening to "Austras Swaikstan" was: "Wait... what language is it?!" If you're interested what they're singing about in that song, here's an English translation of the lyrics (can't guarantee its accuracy, though):

"I live as if I just died. No blood in my veins, but darkness. I'm not from here, embodied outcast, a stranger to everybody, the one who does not belong to anyone in the world. I was looking for access to the utopias and found solace only in the Apocalypse. Every minute I'm covered with one thing: a lost paradise. How would I live, what would I do without these clouds? The brightest time of my life is when I'm looking at them. Melancholy is a longing for another world. Although I never knew what kind of world it is. Fatal melodious emptiness in every cell of the body - it is melancholy. My places, my homeland is the non-existence, which, according to the mystics, was found before God. My constant passion are forgotten gods and empty sanctuaries. The collapse of my grandfathers and great grandfathers I bear in blood, that absorbed all these fragments. Dark cloudy sky looks as if my consciousness personifies the firmament. We all live in a longing for death, and wait for the light the dawn."

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