Ainur - Children of Hurin (2007)
CD + DVD | Progressive Rock/RPI | EAC Rip | WAVPack + Cue + Log | MP3 CBR 320Kbps | 13 Tracks
DVD: NTSC 4:3 (720x480) VBR | Dolby AC3, 2 ch -> 2.53 Gb
Scans(600dpi) -> 950 Mb | Electromantic ART222 | ~315 + 116 Mb | FSonic, Uploaded
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?
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 clichй 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.
Ainur is a new italian band made of 18 members inspired by Tolkien, whose music portraits Tolkien's writings with his fantastic world of tales and fantasy. Ainur get their inspiration (and their name) from "The Silmarillon", Tolkien's whole life work. The idea of Ainur is to transpose into music the entire corpus of tales of "The Silmarillion": given the extent of the work, both in length and content, they started to put in music sagas or specific tales across different periods of the Three Tolkenian Ages and Ancient Times.
From lovely Italy to the the vast plans and highest peaks of the Middle Earth. The band offers an intriguing musical journey based on pure and strong symphonic prog tinged here and there with delicate celtic and classical influences. The general atmosphere could be easily recognized as the perfect soundtrack for an epic fantasy movie. The musicians reveal 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). Vocal richness is also one of their trade markes: recitative parts, whispers, operatic singers (bass and soprano).
Some comparisons could be found in MANDALABAND project by David Rohl (Eye of Wendor, in particular - 1978): a fantasy-like concept album recorded with the contribution of many artists. A similar "commercial" vein, the same serious prog tendency and evocative atmosphere.
1. Morgoth's Prophecy
2. Son of Gloom
3. Anglachel - The Black Sword
4. Mim and the Outlaws
5. Beleg's Death
6. Turin's Madness
7. The Sack of Nargothrond
8. The Voice in the Woods - Finduilas
9. Mourning - The Coming of Nienor
10. Twice Beloved
11. Glaurung's Death
12. Shuddering Water
13. Tol Morwen
- Luca Catalano / composer, guitars, vocal, background vocals
- Gianluca Castelli / composer, piano, organ, Moog, keyboards, Mellotron
- Marco Catalano / composer, drums, percussions, vocal, background vocals
- Simone Del Savio / composer, Baritone voice
- Massimiliano Clara / voice
- Federica Guido / voice
- Elena Richetta / voice, dancer, scenography
- Eleonora Croce / voice
- Barbara Bargnesi / Soprano voice
- Alessandro Armuschio / voice, keyboards
- Giuseppe Ferrante / bass guitars
- Cecilia Lasagno / harp
- Luca Marangoni / violin
- Carlo Perillo / viola
- Daniela Lorusso / cello
- Chiara Marangoni / French horn
- Cristiano Blasi / flute
- Leonardo Enrici Baion / clarinet
1. Ainur documentary - history of a dream
2. Live documentary
- War of wrath (live in Milan)
- Beginning of days (live in Venaria)
- Nienor (live in Tolkieniana)
3. Ouverglawen (medley studio)
4. Trailer and teaser