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Ainur: The Lost Tales

Pertaining to life before the humans (and other races) of Middle Earth the land of The Lord Of The Rings the very name Ainur should give a strong hint as to what you can expect when you step inside The Lost Tales, an album which leans on the tales of Tolkien for its direction.

In terms of musical style, it is hard to classify Ainur, with Progressive Orchestral being as close to a genre tag as it is possible to give. This is not Metal, in fact it isn't even Rock music, as such, with acoustic instruments like French horn, violin, viola, cello, flute and clarinet playing against acoustic guitar, bass and moog.

There's no doubt that mystical medieval fare, with a hint of the bard and storyteller about it is where Ainur is aimed and the atmospheres created by hand percussion and layered voices is one of simpler times, even if the music remains resolutely complex. It all makes for an intentionally easy going journey into fantasy and make believe which relies on tightly arranged pieces of music (I don't really think classing them as songs does them justice) and some excellent vocal work to paint pictures and capture the imagination.

It is easy to get lost in the piano led pieces and hard not to be seduced by the sheer and glossy delivery of vocal lines which really have been thought through and created with a true eye for detail. However it also becomes difficult to shake off the feeling that what you're left with isn't an album that from start to finish sounds like a collection of introductions to Nightwish, or Leaves Eyes songs. Every movement here is crafted and vital to the album as a whole and it is easy to pick out little nuances which make you pay attention but what these serve to do is highlight that for too long during The Lost Tales it is all too easy to float off on these gentle themes and basically forget this album is playing at all. Yes there are some jazzy moments, the odd touch of unexpected aggression and a few more threatening, lunging forays, but across the whole album the vibe is so uniform and similar that remaining focused becomes a bit of a challenge, with little of what you've heard sticking in the memory. Does that make Ainur bad? No, not in the slightest, but it does result in an album that has a less than essential feel and one which I can't really imagine finding the right occasion to need to hear it.

All that said, if you are looking for an album which willingly takes you to a world of make believe where every day worries seem irrelevant, then The Lost Tales may be the gentle voyage for you.

Track Listing
1. Welcoming of Eriol
2. The Beginning of days
3. Yavanna' song
4. The Fall of Gondolin
5. Mourning The coming of Nienor
6. Glaurung's Death
7. Tol Morwen
8. Thingol & Beren
9. Hirilorn
10. Verge Of The Forest
11. Return From Death
12. The Time Beyond

Added: December 4th 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Ainur Online
Hits: 3189
Language: english

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