Wednesday 11 March 2015

Review: Green Elder – 'Offering'


Neofolk can be a divisive genre for some. For others though it is a a pure expression of of emotive songwriting that is simple in its construction, but heavy on its atmosphere. A natural bedfellow of, doom, black metal and industrial, there has been much cross-pollination over the years, so its no surprise that the man behind Appalachian atmospheric metal band Twilight Fauna has chosen to build his other project Green Elder around the genre.

'Offering' is a two-track EP built around two sides that musically conveys the atmosphere of the brief Summer months. The first side contains 'Mountain Storms' a track built around a simple repetitive guitar riff augmented by flourishes of samples and accordion, with very soft vocals occasionally rising up before fading back into the mix.

The second side, 'Cairn Of Starlight' builds upon the guitar lead for a more complex but ultimately lighter traditional folk framework that keeps the soft vocals the blow through like the wind. This then fades into a a delicate extended outro that captures the atmosphere of looking up at the stars on a clear Summers night.

The EP may be a completely self-produced and self-funded exercise, but in terms of its production you wouldn't know. It's light and delicate construction has been mixed down with care so as to yield the maximum atmosphere, and it shies away from any glaringly low-fi elements that can crop up in recordings of this type.

Green Elder captures what good neofolk is all about. It is simple, haunting, beautiful and inspiring. It conjures images and narratives in the listeners mind with only the most basic of tools. Fans of the genre will undoubtedly enjoy this. And hopefully there will be more to come from this project in the future. 

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