Review: Kinovia - Knjiga Pelinova (2007)


artist: Kinovia
release: Knjiga Pelinova
format: CD
year of release: 2007
label: Cyn­feirdd
dur­a­tion: 41:25

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

Kinovia hails from Ser­bia, and this is their second release on the mag­ni­fi­cent Cyn­feirdd label. Too bad I never man­aged to get a hold of their first release, but as far as I under­stand, most of its tracks are present even on this album.
Gaz­ing upon this CD’s cover might give the impres­sion of a psy­che­delic album, but this is on the con­trary a very soph­ist­ic­ated release, full of mel­an­cholic lyr­ics (all lyr­ics are sung in Ser­bian, but the book­let includes Eng­lish trans­la­tions), bible excerpts and quotes from big poets.

Music­ally Kinovia blends neo­clas­sical mater­ial with neo­folk and also a big dose of the tra­di­tional music her­it­age from Ser­bia. This makes Knjiga Pelinova an ori­ginal exper­i­ence for me – I’m not spoiled with Balkan folk music as to say.
Most of the tracks are based on great piano and the strong, deep vocals, both sung and spoken. But Kinovia is a big band, a col­lect­ive of seven very pro­fes­sional mem­bers and just as many instru­ments per­formed, so of course not all tracks are as calm and peeled-off as the intro or the fin­ish­ing “Vask­liknite Bogovi”. Heavy use of violin or cello is com­mon, and the flute is often par­ti­cip­at­ing. Some­times, it feels as there is too much going on at once and to listen to this album from begin­ning to end is at times tempt­ing, but pick­ing out spe­cific songs here and there to enjoy is no prob­lem at all.

To get a full and nice first impres­sion of Knjiga Pelinova you can start with the first track – a very laid back and mel­an­cholic piano driven song. Then, jump to the fifth track, “Dorothea”, to hear the full orches­tra and also some up-tempo tunes. The won­der­ful “Vask­liknite Bogovi” shows that Kinovia is also cap­able of deliv­er­ing del­ic­ate neo­folk. Very simple gui­tar strum­ming and most impress­ive vocals.

As I said earlier, the biggest musical influ­ences are from Serbia’s own tra­di­tional fauna, but to make com­par­is­ons to other bands in the ‘dark genres’, I guess it isn’t totally unfair to men­tion Dead can Dance, Argine and why not Romowe Rikoito? These are all great bands and Kinovia isn’t far behind, already after their second album only.

Reviewed by CME

Track­list:

1. Gone (4:07)
2. Omens (3:49)
3. Rev­el­a­tion Of Archangel (3:34)
4. Sabre (3:08)
5. Dorothea (5:27)
6. Nei­menia (3:30)
7. Ent­frem­dung: Kafka And The Clocks Of The Apo­ca­lypse (4:43)
8. Basilico (4:57)
9. Lelej (4:33)
10. Vask­liknite Bogovi (3:35)

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