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Ainur - Children of Hurin CD (album) cover

CHILDREN OF HURIN

Ainur

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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2 stars After I 'v listened their first album - From Ancient Times,I was very pleased to hear very good music. So I'v waited their second album eagerly, and It happened one day they released second album. What a excited I was when I first discovered the album. but the feeling did not go long. after I listened their second album several times, It disappointed me , not as much as I expected but much boring in comparison with the album cover! Over all not good as first album.
Report this review (#162905)
Posted Friday, February 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars When I listen to Children of Hurin my mind travels between tales and legends written by Tolkien. My opinion is about the Deluxe Edition of CD: I know Ainur and I think that their dimension is more than musical in fact in the DVD you can find their live performance (That's incredible!!), few documentaries about story, composition and Tolkien himself. Moreover in the Deluxe Edition the graphic and artwork is taken to very high level thanks to Dino Olivieri that, in my opinion, has got an approach extremely allusive. The music of Ainur in this album is more various than in the first I think: classical and lyrical parts are more integrated in rock and metal parts while the use of voices is like a Musical Work. I feel 5 stars about this album because of its incredible variety of musical genres, the beauty of composition and quality of video and audio work.
Report this review (#163846)
Posted Thursday, March 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Ainur did it again!

From lovely Italy to the the vast plans and highest peaks of the Middle Earth. The band (a collective of 18 people) offers an intriguing musical journey based on pure and strong symphonic prog tinged here and there with delicate celtic influences.

It's the same pattern of their debut but now the result seems to be slightly more refined and complex than that. The general atmosphere could be easily recognized as the perfect soundtrack for an epic fantasy movie.

The band still continues the challenging work revealing a wide range of styles and influences: you'll find here medieval and languid interludes, celtic and quasi-pop madrigals, strong and hard guitars blended with orchestra and vintage keyboards (moog above all). The same vocal richness of the first album is their trade mark: recitative parts, whispers, operatic singers (bass and soprano), clear male and female singing depending on which part of the Silmarillion they're singing about.

Above all the majestic and powerful opener Morgoth's Profecy which is simply superb and probably their best track until now. It opens with obscure recitative vocals and a soft orchestral movement that gently fades out and gives place to a symphonic tour de force enriched by mellower (quasi jazzy) parts with clarinet, intriguing melody, pizzicato and female vocals in the middle theme. Then, the main theme returns back with its groovy rythm and catching variation (clarinet is also an interesting element). Moog and synths alternating with more dramatic and choral patterns rememering somehow to some fleeting Gryphon parts in their magnum opus Red Queen to Gryphon Tree. All in all this is far from being a prog folk record. Anyway the folk and celtic roots are evident and elegantly absorbed in the ideas of this excellent musical project. Excellent also the pompous parts with french horn.

Another excellent record from a contemporary italian prog band.

Report this review (#172833)
Posted Monday, June 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars

This is a CD/DVD box set that contains a wonderful 32 page booklet in which you can read how about this Tolkien inspired dark concept story (taken from the book Silmarillion). The music is performed by musicians who use a wide range of instruments, from harp, violin, French horn, clarinet and flute to keyboards and many male and female singers like a bass bariton. The amount of classical instruments is a strong indication what we can expect from Ainur during the 13 songs on Children Of Hurin.

CD: The first composition Morgoth's Prophecy is an impressive start, we can enjoy lots of dynamics between the classical instruments and the electric guitar and sensational Minimoog synthesizer flights, layered with classically trained vocals. The other 11 songs also deliver a blend of classic and progrock music with the emphasis a bit more on classical. But just when it tends too sound a bit too classical, the music turns into fluent, often sumptuous progrock like sparkling piano, porpulsive guitar and lush organ in Mim And The Outlaws, sweeping guitar riffs and fat Minimoog runs in The Sack Of Nargothrond and beautiful interplay between electric guitar and the Minimoog with a progmetal sounding rhythm-section in Glaurung's Death, Ainur succeeds to keep my attention during the entire album! The sound on Children Of Hurin is in the vein of their debut CD entitled From Ancient Times (2007), I tend to prefer their second effort and I am very curious to the development of this promising new Italian progrock band.

DVD: The main footage is the Original Ainur Live Video featuring two songs from the Children Of Hurin CD, we can witness that Ainur is very capable to perform their story on stage, also in the track War Of Wrath (on the From Ancient Times album) that contains heavy guitarwork, pleasant keyboardwork by two members along violins and a bariton, great tension between two musical styles. Finally two live songs from earlier concerts in this section. The other extra's are Interview, Recording Sessions, Ainur History Documentary, Ainu Live Documentary and Extra Video.

A big hand for the unknown new Italian progrock band Ainur, they deserve a bit more attention on this site! My rating: a very solid 3,5 stars, next album 4 stars?

Report this review (#177835)
Posted Tuesday, July 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Errors and Omissions Team
5 stars It's strange. First time I heard MUSIC before actually reading BOOK. As far as I know, Middle-earth inspired few groups, so it's the most inspiring book. How many progressive, or at least intelligent albums inspired Harry Potter (another fantasy book series, these two were compared a lot 6-10 years ago, even they're both completely different), not counting great score by John Williams, but Lord of the Rings have even better. Even it sounds like cliché now, as everyone know it and loves it and uses in every possible moment. Or at least used to do.

That's it, LOTR is simply interesting franchise. I don't know it master Tolkien predicted this, or even wanted to be all this commercial, but talking about inspiration for music, it's OK. And we all know that Rock Progressivo Italiano, or least its modern form is suitable for all kind of music, themes, moods and capable of transcending the genres. One word, Collosus Project, this band really reminds me it, except they're devoted just for J. R. Reurel's work. And they're doing it fine.

Guitar solos, strong element here. For example Spaghetti Epic's 1-3, this is similar, except completely different setting, but way how to do it is the same. Bad thing is that I don't complete story and don't want to spoil it by reading these infos and hints. Nope, all I need is a good depiction of Middle-Earth atmosphere and as far as I can tell, they quite made it. Victorian, or Baroque opera-like singing underlines it, tens of instruments also (see Mandalaband's second album?), so

5(-) for bringing this feeling and managing it. From time to time, I decide to add half a star here and there, or take it from some albums, depending on how good the music sounds like after some time passes bye. And I think I like this album more and more. There's almost no "sound" bad, no tone done in a way. You still don't expect where the stream will take you, but you feel weird, familiar feeling. Let's embrace it, don't hesitate.

Report this review (#243882)
Posted Saturday, October 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Ainur is an 18 piece big orchestra from Italy which somehow is listed as Rock Progressivo Italiano. I am not so sure about that based on this album and this album alone.

Ainur is one of the countless bands who has done something on Tolkien. So much that we can almost set up an own Tolkien genre. But wait a minute; we already have. It is called symphonic prog. OK, most Tolkien bands is somewhere between symphonic prog and progressive metal. More like what some Dutch bands is doing. Not to mention Nightwish.

Ainur has both legs in this landscape between symph and prog metal. Mostly in symph prog, it has to be said. Their sound is crystal clear without any hints of Rock Progressivo Italiano whatsoever. The musicians is doing a great job throughout. The vocals is both clear and operatic male and female vocals. The instruments is basically more of the classical orchestra setup with woodwinds and violins in addition to some electric guitars, tangents, bass and drums.

The problem with this album is that it is overly ambitious and it is doomed to fall flat on it's face if it does not have some really great pieces of music. Unfortunate, Children Of Hurin is sorely lacking one or two really great songs. The music here is good, but not great. I have to admit I tend to lose interest halfway through this album. But Children of Hurin is a good effort from the band which reached for the stars but did not quite make it.

A bland character for a bland album.

3 stars

Report this review (#473962)
Posted Saturday, July 2, 2011 | Review Permalink

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