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Daemonia Nymphe - Krataia Asterope CD (album) cover


Daemonia Nymphe


Prog Folk

3.93 | 6 ratings

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4 stars If your fields of interest include searching for antiquity or religion related music, don' t stop reading, for Daemonia Nymphe is one of the most interesting acts worldwide and probably the band you were searching for.

Historians, scholars and art critics agree that most of the artists who claim that they reproduce ''ancient Greek'' music are frauds. That is because the archaeological findings concerning music are very very few and they don't offer enough information about how that music actually sounded. So, most of those who ''reproduce'' ancient music are doing so based merely on imagination and not on actual knowledge. Daemonia Nymphe is a completely different case though and the only one I know (along with the French Kerylos Ensemble) that have really dedicated themselves and their art to the musical recreation of that era. In my opinion, this consistent effort becomes successful for three reasons: 1) the construction and use of original handcrafted ancient instruments of luthier Nicholas Brass 2) obviously, band members are not connected to greek antiquity only artistically but philosophically/religiously as well and 3)their passion evolves through real knowledge.

The music of Daemonia Nymphe trips the listener 2500-3000 years back in time. The sound is basically theatrical and could be easily used as a soundtrack of an ancient drama. Male and female vocals interact constantly, ranging from narrations to ethereal choir parts, string instruments perform simple but powerful melodies/harmonies and percussion instruments deliver primitive, cosmic vibes. There are no choruses and complicated structures, only melodic and rhythmic patterns that support the concept of each composition, the sonic result is not monotonous though but deeply atmospheric. There is no point for a track by track analysis, as all songs seem like different chapters of the same book. All tracks represent rituals or hymns and lyrics (in ancient Greek) deal with spiritual (referring to gods, deities, etc) or mythological concepts. Now, if all this seems a bit weird to you, concentrate on the music itself and you may feel haunted by it. The band refers to its art as ''World Ethereal music''. It is true that what seems local becomes truly global, in this and many other occasions.

The obvious musical reference is the early Dead Can Dance. The big difference is that DCD were inspired by many cultures and civilizations in an exotic manner, while Daemonia Nymphe's art comes from their own blood and experience, it lives under their skin. It feels like this music does not desire to be pleasant, impressive or great but yearns to fulfil a deeper, inner cause: to appeal to the listener's timeless part of the soul, the one that unifies us with the earth, the sea, the mountains and the stars. It is impressive that music of such ancient times can be experienced as something new, as something that can be part of contemporary art. Yes, something so old can be ''progressive''!

Some final remarks: Though most tracks are definitely dark (with the introduction ''Esodos'' being one of the darkest tunes I've ever heard), ''Mouson' and ''Divine Goddess of Fertility' show the listener a path to the light, too. It is also very interesting that in tracks ''Dios Astrapaios'',''Sirens of Ulysses'' and ''Hymenaios'', ancient and modern traditional Greek music becomes one, you can actually sense all these passing centuries become dust, unimportant for art itself. Especially ''Dios Astrapaios'', featuring Psarantonis (one of the most famous and distinctive modern folk Greek artists), reconciles the past and the present in the most vivid and creative way. I have to say though that my favourite track is the self titled one, a divine tune that instantly takes you by the hand and guides you to this timeless realm.

As a Greek, I am proud of my land's history and I like to promote the good and worthy Greek progressive artists, so in this case I can do both! Don't treat Daemonia Nymphe as another prog band, for this is not their only nature. If you have the chance to see them live and experience the visual performance too (with their masks, costumes and everything), you will then be able to treat them as what they basically are: a cultural phenomenon.

4 ancient stars.

Aldebaran_Well | 4/5 |


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