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

Track­list:

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)