Agnivolok - _Cherries_
(The Eastern Front, 2006)
by: Quentin Kalis (7.5 out of 10)
This is primarily the project of Vera Agnivolok, who recorded this way back in 2001 as _Cherries for the Golden Skull_, but it never saw the light of day until now, for some undisclosed reason. _Cherries_ veers between brooding ambience and neofolk; the ambient sections failed to make much of an impression on me, but the same cannot be said of their quirky neofolk.

I am unsure to what extent Vera Agnivolok's Ukrainian and Israeli background have impacted on the music; but given the atavistic nature of neofolk, it would be extremely surprising if her origins had minimal impact. The lyrics are sung in Russian, although the English translations suggest a poetic edge to the lyrics. A variety of folk instruments are employed, and one of the members is enigmatically credited with playing "unusual instruments"; I have no idea what this could mean, especially as others are credited with utilising such esoteric instruments as an ice flute and stone cello!

The undisputed highlight of the album is "The Golden Skull", which despite its folk sound has an ambient bent through the creation of a repetitive yet mesmerizing melody, vaguely reminiscent of Mortiis' demo, only good. To conclude, an unusual yet welcome entry to the genre of neofolk.


(article published 18/12/2006)

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