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Concrescence - Obscured By The Dark Years

Obscured By The Dark Years compiles 13 tracks from The Thieves of Impressions including 6 tracks from their 1994 Discordia release Sophia's Nectar together with 6 previously unissued recordings and an extended version of 'Celtic Wedding' remixed in 2003. The first track is a neo-classical instrumental with its stirring strings and martial drum beats is quite misleading as much of the rest of the album is primarily pagan-oriented folk-pop only hinted at by the celtic influenced flute melody of the opener, 'Leszerazz' Galliard'. Despite the slightly accented voices of the male and female singers betraying their Germanic origins much of this with its intermingling of pagan and religious imagery conjures visions of a rural English countryside. A mediaeval feel permeates many of the songs on Obscured By The Dark Years with folk guitar patterns resembling the sound of a harpsichord, especially on 'Madrigal' and 'To A Forgotten Queen'. Yet the pleasant folk-pop of 'Changes', 'Autumn' and 'Catholic Dark' owe more to Pentangle and Steeleye Span than the dark folk of Sol Invictus or Fire and Ice. 'Celtic Wedding' is the most rousing inclusion here resembling pagan ceremonial music with an incongruous pagan dance interlude of electro beats and bells. There are a number of piano based chamber music type tracks and forays into neo-classical territory which make Obscured By The Dark Years a real mixed bag. It's not a patch on In Gowan Ring or Sorrow whose take on mediaeval folk-pop is much more inspired and convincing. Perhaps it's the type of thing that may appeal to those with a penchant for the Mediaeval Baebes or All About Eve or something equally insipid.

Dressed up in a sleeve adorned with young men in uniform and military ephemera it looks like Obscured By The Dark Years is designed to catch the unassuming neo-folker off-guard. Released on Ahnstern, home of Allerseelen. For more information go to or