Memoria - _The Midnight Ball_
(Prime Cuts, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (7 out of 10)
A huge number of neo and dark folk projects are floating around, many of which have adopted various native folk styles and melodies. Nordic and Germanic traditions dominate, and Slavic and Celtic influenced entities can also be found without much difficulty. But to my knowledge, few have adopted Mediterranean styles, and none have incorporated classical Spanish guitar, which makes Memoria's take on dark folk comparatively unique.

Although percussion and some sound effects are provided by a "Prof Basley", this is really a solo project by Jonathan Carroll. Despite a few ferocious screams that hint at a possible future as a black metal vocalist, Carroll favours a weak goth-styled baritone. Then again, a constant barrage of black metal screams really wouldn't have suited this project.

The album's strength -- which Carroll is fully aware of -- lies in his guitar playing, which is a pleasure to listen to. It sounds as if Mr Carroll has been the recipient of extensive formal training in this sphere, which has paid off. On occasion, his compositions lose focus and drag on unnecessarily, but are always saved from mediocrity through his guitar playing. An interesting addition to the world of dark / apocalyptic / neo folk.


(article published 24/8/2007)

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