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Lady Morphia - Essence and Infinity

Essence and Infinity is the first release from Lady Morphia in quite some time. In the interim the occasional compilation track and collaborations with Werkruam have kept their name alive. Like their debut full-length release Recitals To Renewal an air of Death In June circa Rose Clouds of Holocaust hangs heavily over much of Essence and Infinity. While that release was inspired by the works of Ernst Jünger, the impetus for Essence and Infinity springs from the theories of Oswald Spengler, and, in particular, his cyclical theory of the rise and decline of civilisations. In fact much of Essence and Infinity, like their previous releases, is informed by a strong German influence which is quite unusual, since the nucleus of the group, Nick and Chris Nedzynski, stem from England.

Essence and Infinity is a strong step for the duo, consolidating their firm grasp of neo-folk with tracks of classical and atmospheric music. The opening track is awash with German sampled dialogue over soft atmospheric music, while the orchestral stylings of 'Sterbende Landschaft' is laden with sampled dialogue and martial rhythms. These tracks ably capture the spiritual and romantic spirit that so inspires them, while the stunning neo-folk arrangements of 'Ancestral Memories' and 'Turn To Silver' amply illustrate why they've captured the attention of the more discerning neo-folk listener, and been sought out by the likes of Allerseelen and Werkraum. In past interviews singer Nick has professed a love of the goth genre which, I guess, is fair enough but these influences didn't seem to find their way into the music. On Essence and Infinity this influence is widespread. 'Sturmjahre' and 'Fallen Empires' employ a bass heavy sound swiped from the goth-end of post punk, and along with 'Carmen ad Occidentem' there's terribly weak rock riffs. It's a major stumbling block for me, and I've found myself having to skip them. It's a pity, as Lady Morphia produce a sophisticated take on neo-folk, incorporating lush strings and keyboards. 'Widerstand' is a prime example of their lush majesty where acoustic guitars and piano score combine with stirring strings, and beautiful arrangements with the commanding chorus: We offer resistance!

Essence and Infinity is still a step ahead of many in the neo-folk genre, and the booklet carefully compiles numerous representations of artwork that defines their aesthetic. All in all it is a solid and considered release, and despite a few faltering steps, Essence and Infinty, will certainly enhance their reputation. For more information go to