Fauns, Nén (CD-EP 2012) [self-released]
The Fauns have aptly describe their music as being "off the beaten path." The Berlin-based, prog-folk sextet has been crafting eclectic, fantasy-themed music for nearly a decade and a half, blending males and female vocals, complex string arrangements, subtle keyboard, viola and flute melodies with a progressive rock sensibility. The result is a pleasing alternation between the ethereal and the down-to-earth (something Tolkien aficionados will appreciate).
Their latest EP, Nén, showcases the Fauns' longstanding enchantment with Tolkien's legendarium. It includes a new recording of "Cuiviénen Quenyalambinen" (an early signature of the band) with two new tracks-"Neni Quenter Nin" and "Aldunainie." As their titles indicate, all three songs recount key episodes in The Silmarillion: the awakening of the Elves at Cuiviénen, Tuor's journey to Gondolin, and the death of the Two Trees. All three songs are sung in Quenya ("Cuiviénen" for the first time) and the band allows the natural rhythms of the language to dictate their meditative pace and epic scope. This is a worthy exercise in Tolkien's linguistic aesthetic that draws in both speakers and non-speakers of Quenya. Great stuff. The Tolkien Music List says check it out!
The EP is available in CD format and can be purchased through the band's website.
Reviewer: Chris Seeman