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Nechochwen: OtO

This was a pleasant neo-folk surprise. Nechochwen is almost like an upbeat Empyrium, in a good way, but really they (mostly) have their own identity as exemplified on "Cultivation," a gypsy-like track in terms of its structure. This little EP is fairly diverse as well, which is always a plus in folk music. It's also nice that the vocalist does folk singing in the background ("On the Wind" and "He Ya Ho Na") besides his other general approach. Unfortunately he falls into that faux-philosophical group during "Otomen'pe" where he unpoetically describes pagan/native american common knowledge and it ruins the atmosphere set by the first two tracks. At least flute replaces him later on in the track.

"Haniipi-miisi" thankfully resets the mood with running water, some ebow over acoustic arpeggios, and a slowed mantra afterwards. Unluckily, another misstep during "He Ya Ho Na" and "Pekikalooletiiwe" appears as the band tries really hard to be metal la Agalloch - not to mention more unpoetic generalities - and again disrupts all sense of ambience. This band is great when it comes to their acoustic work, and while their metal parts do blend well enough, they never add anything of substance and thus feel contrived. I understand the yearning for a sense of dynamic but a lot more time need be spent on the heavier parts if the band wants to keep that as part of their sound. Though, the band is nonetheless worth checking out and keeping in the radar.

Track Listing
1. Cultivation
2. On the Wind
3. Otomen'pe (Our Ancestors)
4. Haniipi-miisi (Elm Tree)
5. He Ya Ho Na
6. Pekikalooletiiwe (Instructions: An Exhoration)

Added: September 1st 2012
Reviewer: Danny Heater
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1875
Language: english

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