Review: Duo Noir - Sintra (2010)


artist: Duo Noir
release: Sin­tra
format: CD
year of release: 2010
label: TURSA
dur­a­tion: 71:57

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

Any­one who has seen Sol Invictus live dur­ing the past years will have noted the chem­istry between Tony Wake­ford and Andrew King. The style and rep­er­toire of these men com­ple­ment each other mar­vel­lously, and they’ve appar­ently come to the same con­clu­sion, sta­ging shows as a duo in addi­tion to the full band exper­i­ence of Sol Invictus. Their con­cert in Sin­tra of 14th Novem­ber 2009 was recor­ded and now released as a lim­ited live album on TURSA.

The twenty tracks on Sin­tra prove to be a very rep­res­ent­at­ive doc­u­ment of these live shows and indeed of their whole col­lect­ive oeuvre. There are obvi­ously lots of Sol Invictus tracks here, but we also hear The Triple Tree, Orches­tra Noir, and both men’s solo mater­ial. The over­all tenor of this album is of course neo­folk, with its power­ful vocals, mil­it­ar­istic drums, and acous­tic gui­tar. How­ever, there is room for other things, such as the neo­clas­sical “The Last Train” and the more tra­di­tional rendi­tions of bal­lads and poems.

A per­sonal selec­tion of favour­ites includes “The Cruellest Month”, I pre­sume the title track off the com­ing Sol Invictus album, brood­ing and dark; also “Black Cru­sade”, “Eve”, “Blackleg Miner”, and espe­cially the trio of Rud­y­ard Kip­ling’s poems, sung by King: “Have You News of My Boy Jack”, “Geth­se­mane”, and “Reces­sional”. Par­tic­u­larly the last one, with its orches­tral samples and sol­emn deliv­ery, is a new high­light in King’s rep­er­toire.

The strength of this show lies there­fore not only in the reli­able deliv­ery of these two hardened folk artists, for that’s what they’ve become, but also in the selec­tion of tracks, which is very diverse and sure to delight new­comers and long­stand­ing fans alike. Very much worth your atten­tion.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. We Are The Dead Men (2:20)
2. An Eng­lish Garden (4:10)
3. Edward (2:58)
4. Eve (2:06)
5. The Last Train (2:39)
6. Worcester City (5:43)
7. Night Forever (3:37)
8. Black Cru­sade (3:54)
9. Twa Cor­bies (2:49)
10. Death’s Head (2:35)
11. The Wild Wild Berry (5:11)
12. Holy Water (3:28)
13. Blackleg Miner (3:14)
14. The Cruellest Month (3:08)
15. Have You News Of My Boy Jack (2:27)
16. Geth­se­mane (3:34)
17. Reces­sional (7:14)
18. Down The Road Slowly (4:31)
19. All Alone In Her Nir­vana (2:46)
20. Angels Fall (3:33)