Monday, May 30, 2016

Moon Far Away - "Minnesang" [2010]

Artist: Moon Far Away
Title: Minnesang
Genre: Neofolk, Ethereal
Country: Russia
Release date: 2010

Track List:
  1. И Свет Во Тьме Светит (Пролог)
  2. Олюшка
  3. Goe, And Catche
  4. Deus Amet Puellam
  5. Памятью
  6. Путешествие Королевича, Часть 1: Лунный Остров
  7. Путешествие Королевича, Часть 2: Новый Сон
  8. Francisca
  9. Witchcraft By A Singing
  10. Мама Русь
  11. Хајте Браћо Белој Цркви (Эпилог)
  12. Будем Жить (bonus track)
Arkhangelsk is a relatively small town on the shore of the Arctic Ocean which is quite far from most major urban centers of northern Europe. Yet it has a large port which was a part of a major trade/smuggling route for Western-made recordings and musical instruments during Soviet times, so it isn't a surprise that it long had an independent music scene of noticeable size. Out of notable bands formed in Arkhangelsk, I should mention Облачный Край, Six Dead Bulgarians (one of the most prominent early Russian industrial projects) - and, of course, Moon Far Away, formed in 1994.

Their debut album "Lado World" (1997) was critically acclaimed at the time it was released, but as for me, it has the same problem as some works by Irfan - it sounds too close to Dead Can Dance and not in a good way. Their subsequent releases took the direction towards more traditional folk music, and their latest full-length album up to date, "Minnesang", is more neofolk than anything else (although the ethereal, darkwave and traditional folk elements are prominent on "Minnesang" as well). A good review of "Minnesang" can be found here (although there are some minor inconsistencies - i.e., MFA aren't a pagan band in any way). Overall, "Minnesang" is one of the best albums in the history of Russian neofolk and definitely shouldn't be missed. The rest of MFA discography didn't impress me as much as this one, but it certainly worths to be checked out too.

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