1/2 SOUTHERN NORTH (IDVex) - Cantabile of Hades (Rivers of the Underworld)
This is a kind of release that we are not used to in our webzine. From 2001 that we started this webzine few were the releases of this genre that we have presented here. The band’s style is described as experimental avant garde music and sincerely I don’t know what exactly these terms mean. Anyway in art and of course in music are either things that you like or leave you indifferent.
Before I proceed to the description of this release let me give you some information about it. As you can realize from the title it is a release based on a concept story. It is inspired by the ancient Greek mythology and in specific on the beliefs of ancient Greeks for the underworld and after life. According to this mythology there were 5 rivers that were leading to Hades (the underworld of ancient Greek mythology and not the band). 1/2 SOUTHERN NORTH in their release made a concept about the 3 of them which is Flegethon, Kokytos and Lithi.
The whole album is based mainly on the great voice of the female singer and has as a background a minimalistic music. The atmosphere is very imposing and really captured my sense and mind while I was listening to it. I have to admit here that it is a sad album that made the whole listening a bit painful for me (and I mean that on a good way since this is what the artist wants to create with this album). I would describe the whole sound as a mixture of a movie soundtrack (it could easily by in an epic film like 300), choruses of the ancient Greek tragedy and some elements of the Greek mourning songs (μοιρολόγια) which are very strong in the last track of this release under the title “Lithi (River Of Oblivion)”.
All in all this is a very ambitious and impressive work that proves that most of the times less is more. If you want to listen to some good atmospheric music, then this is an album that I can recommend to you.
Nick “Verkaim” Parastatidis