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FAUN

Prog Folk • Germany


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Faun biography
FAUN are a German neofolk band known for their expansive use of traditional, ethnic and modern electric instruments, as well as recorded sounds and synthesized music. The band formed in 2002 and have released four studio albums, one live album and a pair of DVDs to-date.

FAUN's music is heavily centered around lyrics, both ancient and modern, and have also been known to adapt traditional scores and poetry. Their lyrics are sung in a wide range of both modern and historical languages.

>>Bio by Bob Moore (aka ClemofNazareth)<<

Faun official website

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FAUN shows & tickets


  • Faun: Luna-Tour 2015 on 7 Mar 2015
  • Faun - Luna Tour 2015 on 11 Mar 2015
  • Faun: Luna Tour 2015 on 15 Mar 2015
  • Faun on 16 Mar 2015
  • Faun Luna Tour 2015 Flensburg, Deutsches Haus on 14 Apr 2015
  • Faun: Luna-Tour 2015 on 16 Apr 2015
  • Faun at Jahrhunderthalle, Frankfurt am Main on 20 Apr 2015

FAUN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

FAUN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.58 | 5 ratings
Zaubersprüche
2002
3.50 | 6 ratings
Licht
2003
3.50 | 2 ratings
Renaissance
2005
3.05 | 3 ratings
Totem
2007
3.50 | 2 ratings
Buch der Balladen
2009
4.33 | 6 ratings
Eden
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
Von Den Elben
2013
4.25 | 4 ratings
Luna
2014

FAUN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Faun & the Pagan Folk Festival
2008

FAUN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Lichtbilder
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ornament
2008

FAUN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FAUN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

FAUN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Licht by FAUN album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.50 | 6 ratings

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Licht
Faun Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Just one year after their mildly interesting but amorphous debut, FAUN took major strides to define their own sound on "Licht". Moreover, the contributions here seem more deliberate while simultaneously less predictable. The group has achieved an appealing balance of fragile and robust (harp vs hurdy gurdy) instrumentation, male and female vocals, and instrumental and sung passages, even if the overall moods remain dark and oddly sinister.

Only the passively spoken "Cernunnos" and the weak"Wind and Geige" fail to impress, but a few of the others merit special mention, and, interestingly, these are bolstered by Fiona Ruggeberg's sprightly flute, providing a contrast to the downbeat sentiments no doubt expressed while strangely mournful in their own right. "Von Del Elben" is more typically sombre but "Punagra" is fairly boisterous by group standards, based on heavily strummed guitars and relatively spirited melded female and male vocals. Oliver Sa Tyr leads over an elegant string and acoustic guitar backing on "Isis", the melody hypnotic and entrancing. "Egil Saga" is one of the most foreboding of all, from the inventive and nimble percussion to the vociferously chanted chorus.

After indulging on and off for about a month, I now feel comfortable illuminating four stars over this progressive folk de light.

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 Zaubersprüche by FAUN album cover Studio Album, 2002
2.58 | 5 ratings

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Zaubersprüche
Faun Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars The most progressive aspect to FAUN's debut is that anyone outside of the intractible folk scene was performing this type of music at all in 2002. Whatever "cool" could be connected with Northern European folk was usually processed through a musical cuisinart into ENYA, and that trick was simply recycled after its 1988 smash, chiefly by ENYA herself. I suppose BLACKMORE's night could be counted as another success, but are they really taking themselves seriously? Because I think FAUN is.

This is familiar and not particularly striking, but extremely well played, a kind of amalgam of Gothic folk from Northern lands. Groups like SILEAS, CLANNAD, MUZSIKAS' , BROSELMASCHINE, and even WHITE WILLOW and PERERIN all come to mind at different times, as well as a few limbs snapped right off the main branch of the Celtic family tree - think ANDY IRVINE and DAVEY SPILLANE's collaborations. This is dark and ominous music that, at its best, hypnotically captures a sense of foreboding much like a classic vampire flick, and I don't mean the modern versions with the beautiful young people cavortng about. The male and female harmnony vocals, the hurdy gurdy, the didgeridoo, and the mournful melodies all thicken the atmosphere in a manner rarely achieved since DEEP FOREST's "Boheme", which actually featured MUZSIKAS' Marta Sebastyen.

While all but the longest tracks hold interest and sway, Zauberapruche lacks any sort of wow factor, even if "Tempus Transit", "Des Wasserman's Web", "Keridwen and Gwion", and "Konig Von Thgule" are all more than impressive in a contained sort of way. The album title translates to "Magical Language", and I suppose the goal is partially achieved, proving that one doesn't have to pull a rabbit out of a hat to graduate from magic school, but rather avoid conjuring up a skunk.

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 Totem by FAUN album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.05 | 3 ratings

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Totem
Faun Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars Faun’s longtime mix-master/sounds effects man Niel Mitra’s work seems to be a little less prevalent on this, their band’s fourth album. As a result there is both more of an ‘unplugged’ feel as well a greater emphasis on vocals throughout. The unplugged part makes sense anyway since Mitra seems to be the only one who requires a power chord when the band performs live, the rest of the members relying instead on a wide variety of traditional and sometimes obscure acoustic folk instruments.

This album is also quite a bit slower and less tense than either ‘Licht’ (their second) or ‘Renaissance’ (third) albums, although I have to say that if you play back their first four records in chronological order there is a noticeable progression from rougher, almost dark metal-like songs to these mellower tunes highlighting the ladies’ singing and Oliver Sa Tyr’s proficiency on a range of stringed instruments (though quite heavily reliant on Celtic harp and bouzouki).

While I personally would classify the band’s early work as a sort of blend of neofolk (with heavy pagan undertones) and goth without the mascara and black clothing, this album has almost a renaissance feel to it, especially the middle portion of the record including the female vocal-intensive tunes ‘Tinta’, ‘November’ and ‘Unocorn’. This comes after a fairly tense and brooding opening track ‘Rad’ that includes heavy drone and vocal chanting that characterized much of their first two albums.

After that things slow down until toward the end of the album, beginning with the driving and pulsating “Gaia” and following with “Zeit nach dem Sturm”, a song that were it not for the female vocals reminds me an awful lot of sound Green Carnation perfected on ‘the Acoustic Verses’. The album closes with an a capella rendition of “Der stille Grund” courtesy of Elizabeth Pawelke and Fiona Rüggeberg.

Pawelke would leave the group shortly after this album was released for reasons I’m not aware of. Can’t say as I’ll miss her too much though since there’s only so much you can do with a hurdy-gurdy and that seems to be about the only thing she can play. The band continued their descent into folksiness in 2009 by releasing the all-acoustic ‘Buch der Balladen’, which I suppose signals that the band may next be considering a concept album or greatest hits or something, not sure.

Anyway this one is pretty good, not awesome but not bad either. I keep waiting for the band to blow me away with a studio album and that isn’t happening. But I have to admit every time I see a live video of them I’m inevitably impressed. Not sure they’ll ever wander across the pond and show up in South Dakota, U.S.A. (come in the summer!), but if they do I’ll happily pay to see them. Three stars for this one, same as pretty much all the others and just as recommended.

peace

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 Licht by FAUN album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.50 | 6 ratings

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Licht
Faun Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars Faun’s second studio release stretches their sound out a bit, and also gives several of the band members an opportunity to demonstrate the range of their musical ability. While the group’s ‘Zaubersprüche’ is quite heavy on whiny hurdy-gurdy, Jew’s harp and decent but overdone flute, ‘Licht’ finds Fiona Rüggeberg and Oliver Sa Tyr in particular digging deeper into their respective instrument bags.

While my respect for the group’s musical abilities grew quite a bit with this album, Rüggeberg actually seems to be one of the more accomplished players, at least on this album and the videos associated with it. Her repertoire includes a Rüggeberg that looks just like a recorder but sounds like a wooden clarinet (I guess the thing has a reeded mouthpiece, which explains the sound); also some sort of bagpipe of indeterminate pedigree; and all sorts of whistles, recorders and flutes including what I believe is a pan flute on several of the later tunes. I’m pretty sure she also plays violin but not on this album to the best of my knowledge.

Sa Tyr on the other hand is into things with strings rather than those that get blown into. His contributions include lots of Celtic harp, especially on the slower tunes like “Isis” and “Von den Elben”; bouzouki which seems to pretty much take the place where a guitar would make more sense in most other bands; and a couple different lutes, which of course no German pagan folk band should be without. He also plays a didgeridoo a couple of places, but really you either have to be a real expert on that instrument or watch videos of the band to distinguish where he’s playing this versus Rüggeberg playing her recorder; or at least I have trouble telling them apart.

Speaking of didgeridoo, the band sure gets into their drone sounds on this and all their other albums. The dark-haired lovely in the band (Elisabeth Pawelke) is constantly going on with her hurdy-gurdy, an instrument I’ve never heard anyone but Adaro’s Konstanze Kulinsky truly breath any life into. The whiny drone strings from that thing combine with her own vocals, the didgeridoo, Sa Tyr’s nickel harp which also has drone strings, and the bagpipes’ drone pipe to give songs like “Ne Aludj El” and “Andro” a pagan sound that manages to give off more than a hint of a Moroccan vibe. I doubt that’s what the band intended, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

I’ve watched quite a few videos of the band lately, and seeing them performing live has given me quite a bit more appreciation for their ability and sound than just listening to studio albums. There are two videos with this CD, the songs “Punagra” and “Andro”. Both are quite interesting to watch; while the videos themselves aren’t elaborate productions or anything, they do show the band members to be quite serious musicians demonstrating an appreciation for their craft. My respects to them for that.

Like I said earlier, this album has a bit more range than the debut, which seemed to rely too heavily on hurdy-gurdy drone and Jew’s harp twanging. Here there are some lighter songs, including the almost ballad-like “Isis” and “Fort” with its three-part vocal harmonies that are both quite beautiful. The band can also kick things up, which they do on the dissonant and rather tense “Wind & Geige” (‘geige’ being that uncredited violin which I believe is played by Rüggeberg). And they even throw in a spoken-word piece with “Cernunnos”, which I personally could have done without but which I’m sure has some meaning to whoever understands Lower German or whatever odd tongue guest artist Christian von Aster is speaking in.

In all this one is better than the first album, although in retrospect I kind of wish I’d bought the DVD that was released in conjunction with this CD instead since the band can be much better appreciated if you are watching them as opposed to just listening to them. With that said, I’m going to give this three stars and a fair recommendation anyway. Their next album gets even a little better, but this one is worth picking up especially if you’re into darker pagan-leaning groups like Adaro, In Gowan Ring, Tenhi, stuff like that.

peace

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 Zaubersprüche by FAUN album cover Studio Album, 2002
2.58 | 5 ratings

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Zaubersprüche
Faun Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

2 stars Faun play a rather modern form of pagan folk that combines a host of medieval and traditional instruments with programmed digital sequences, synthesizers and drone (mostly from a hurdy-gurdy). There are actually quite a few groups around today doing this sort of thing, but Faun add an interesting twist with lyrics in a variety of tongues including some that are pretty much unrecognizable and I suppose are either regional dialects or semi-extinct.

The overall mood of this debut release is rather somber, with vocalists Fiona Rüggeberg and Lisa Pawelke resorting to medieval chanting most of the time and slipping into almost monotonous harmonies on tracks like “Nechein Man” and “Tempus Transit”. Elsewhere the band adopts a more airy mood with woodwinds and acoustic strings, most notably on the delicate “Keridwen & Gwion” and very folksy ballad “Vom Truge”.

I can’t really get very excited about this album, although some of their later work does show improvement in variety and richer, more complex textures that make it obvious this truly is just an experimental debut of an emerging talent. Most of the songs are pretty even, although the closing “Troum Und Spiegelglas” goes on too long for my tastes considering the main instrumentation consists mostly of Jew’s harp, hurdy-gurdy and a rather annoying organ bleating in the background. Otherwise the songs are mildly interesting but a little too dark for my tastes.

I would recommend that band’s 2007 studio release ‘Totem’ over this one if you are new to the music; otherwise this is a decent record for those who have already taken a liking to Faun’s music. I won’t really recommend ‘Zaubersprüche’ to anyone but fans, and therefore a two star rating is the only thing that makes sense.

peace

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Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the artist addition.

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