Review: Fayrierie - Michelia Campka (2007)

artist: Fayri­erie
release: Michelia Campka
format: CD
year of release: 2007
label: Caustic Records
dur­a­tion: 44:55

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

Spain’s dark folk scene hasn’t really exploded yet. I can think of very few bands, and even fewer proper releases. But here is one for you and it’s quite nice, really!
The music on Fayri­erie’s debut falls into the same cat­egory of folk music as Dwelling with a hint of Empyrium. Melodic, romantic, tran­quil, mel­an­cholic… The songs are centred on the almost ever-present acoustic gui­tars. There is a minor use of elec­tronics, mostly in the back­ground. The parts and tracks where the syn­thes­izers are prom­inent are the least inter­esting ones so I guess my favourite instru­ment of all times has saved another album.

For this album, Fayri­erie has looked deep into the pagan tra­di­tions of the world, col­lecting both fairytales and myth­o­lo­gical stories to use as lyr­ical and musical influ­ences. The inside of the digi­pack does not include the lyrics, but there are explan­a­tions to the songs, which are really nice to read while listening. They boost the mood nicely.

From the people I have played the album for, I have heard some com­plaints about Norax’s voice. Things like “he sings too strong for this kind of soft music”, “in the deeper parts, his voice seems to get stuck in the throat” and “he should be singing heavy metal bal­lads”. I have also stumbled across some reviews, which are pointing out the same issues. Sure, it took me a while to get used to the vocals but now I can’t ima­gine this album with a dif­ferent singer. Norax is doing a great job behind the micro­phone and should be as proud as he sounds. Music­ally there isn’t much to com­plain about. Falke, who per­forms the tunes, sounds like a con­fident musi­cian.

What I like most about this album is its vari­ation. The songs usu­ally start in one way and end in a com­pletely dif­ferent one. There is no space for boredom here at all, the sound is ever-changing. The ten tracks could easily be divided into 25 shorter ones. This, though, makes it hard to point out my favourite tracks. I’d rather point out favourite parts. The chorus in “A Night of Tears over the Snow” is the first high­light. Also, the instru­mental part short after the chorus is sung for the first time is stun­ning. The first, instru­mental minutes of “Enbarr” really cap­ture me, and so does the spoken-word part of “Nature and the Poet”. The female vocals in “Orphaned Forest Lul­laby” are really good and the fol­lowing (and closing track) is superb in every way. On the other side, “Crepuscle” is a kind of boring one, where the rule about gui­tars / elec­tronics I stated in the begin­ning of the review is valid. Some things are not bad, but pretty pale in com­par­ison to the high­lights.
I like the addi­tion of violin but it’s often mis­placed throughout the record. Some parts are just screaming for some strings but it’s strictly lim­ited to parts where it often does not fit at all. But all in all, I have no prob­lems with enjoying Michelia Campka and its com­fort­able mel­an­choly.

Reviewed by CME


1. To Fayri­erie (3:12)
2. Water Of Moon (5:23)
3. A Night Of Tears Over The Snow (5:00)
4. Crepuscle (3:51)
5. …Of Magic Dances And Fairies’ Rings (4:58)
6. Enbarr (3:02)
7. Aran­manoth (5:49)
8. Nature And The Poet (3:41)
9. Orphaned Forest Lul­laby (6:09)
10. Romeca-Calelha (3:50)