Rome, Le Ceneri Di Heliodoro, 2019

rome - le ceneri di heliodoroHere is something for ya! This has turned out to be a very interesting affair. But before I get ahead of myself a short introduction. Rome are from Luxembourg, and apparently are quite the name in the neofolk scene, with this being their 13th release. Well, silly me would not have known that! Yet in fact the sole permanent member is Jerome Reuter. Who calls this mix of American folklore, French Chansons and English Punk: Chanson Noir. And he might have a point…

Now to the album. For me the folk can be traced back to the constant use of acoustic guitar accompanying the vocals. Through the addition of chants and choirs, strings (or keyboards), bass and drums, the sound evolves into something special. More so because of the use of several languages throughout the album. You can hear Italian, German (or maybe Luxembourgish) and English. And the lyrics paint a rather bleak picture of the state of today’s world. Europe dissolving, the current affairs in the US, etc. All comes in a beautiful package with an extensive booklet.

If I put all that aside and just concentrate on the music, I cannot help but be impressed by the sheer power of the emotions that shine. No power from heavy guitars of course, but the combination of all elements of this album just grabs me.  The tracks might not be all too complex, they do hit the mark!

These are songs that question without answering. They make you think. And that is something we surely need if we want to get out of the current mess we are experiencing all around us…

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