Damiano Mercuri - _European Music and Ballads From Renaissance and Baroque Era_
(The Eastern Front, 2008)
by: Quentin Kalis (7.5 out of 10)
The straightforward and unimaginative title explicitly heralds the album's contents. _European Music and Ballads From Renaissance and Baroque Era_ really is just Mercuri performing songs from the late Renaissance and early Baroque (circa 1500 to the early 1600s) era on his acoustic guitar. But the album's title also provides an implicit indication of the approach, accurately suggesting an austere, frills free approach to an entirely instrumental album, despite much of the source material containing lyrics. Mercuri is a classically trained musician who has substantial experience performing in various orchestras and ensembles; neither is he a stranger to the less rarefied neofolk scene through Rose Rovine e Manti. _EMaBfRaBE_ has been recorded in various halls and churches, but it is not clear what effect this has had other then to lend this work an extra-musical aura of antiquity and grandeur. Mercuri's background informs his approach, and this approach has little in common with hirsute heathens wielding guitars and mjolnirs: it's more likely to appeal to aficionados of Segovia than fans of Sol Invictus. _EMaBfRaBE_ is a bit out of my comfort zone and my ken, but I know what I like, and this I like. Maybe you will too.

Contact: http://www.theeasternfront.org

(article published 15/6/2009)

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