Album ReviewsReviews

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


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)