Album ReviewsReviews

Review: Kinit Her - Divine Names (2010)

Kinit Her
release: Divine Names
format: MC
year of release: 2010
label: Brave Mys­ter­ies
dur­a­tion: 27:24

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

First of all, a big cheer for young people ded­ic­at­ing them­selves to uncom­prom­ising musical vis­ions. Thank­fully, you can find them here and there in a vari­ety of genres, but I’m espe­cially happy when I dis­cover pro­jects with such eso­teric musical lean­ings as Kinit Her. This duo, con­sist­ing of Troy Schafer and Nath­aniel Ritter shares with us an enga­ging mix­ture of raw drones, ritual chants and musical struc­tures, and some steps into neo­folk and song-based work.

On this tape, totalling a little under 30 minutes, a broad over­view of this band’s style is presen­ted. The extens­ive A-side “Grat­it­udes” opens with deep gui­tar drones and low chants, slowly build­ing and morph­ing into a sol­emn piece with brass and strings, and end­ing in a min­imal outro of high-pitched noises and gut­tural voices.

The other side of the tape con­tains three shorter tracks, each of which is more song-based than the sound­scape that was “Grat­it­udes”. “Walled” is the longest, indul­ging in some fine drone­work and eerie sounds before prop­erly start­ing with a more neo­folk-ori­ented song, without relin­quish­ing the obscure sound back­ing of the start. The vocals are nar­rat­ive and melodic, but still con­firm­ing the ritual char­ac­ter of the music. “The Proph­et’s Pen Ablaze” is the shortest track, but a per­fect com­pact reflec­tion of this band’s quirky and ori­ginal approach. In its own obscure way, it is even catchy and access­ible, at least to those open to a bit of weird­ness. “Wal­less”, then, tones down the energy a bit, form­ing a some­what mourn­ful outro of wail­ing strings and layered vocals.

Inspir­a­tions for Kinit Her can be traced in the dir­ec­tion of 80s indus­trial exper­i­ment­a­tion and the vari­ous post-indus­trial and neo­folk styles that were to fol­low. How­ever, like proper bear­ers of an eso­teric tra­di­tion, they warp and twist the raw mater­i­als avail­able into new forms suit­able to their own vis­ion. The expres­sion of this vis­ion is music sug­gest­ing an occult and highly per­sonal spir­itual lan­guage, but at the same time one that invites the listener to par­take in the ritual. In terms of com­pos­i­tion and intens­ity, I would find there is room for improve­ment in this music. What is most strik­ing at the moment is the ori­gin­al­ity of vis­ion and sound, more than the flow of the music itself.

That still means this is a fas­cin­at­ing release from an incred­ibly prom­ising pro­ject. This par­tic­u­lar tape is already sold out from the label, but one would do well to be on the lookout for this and other works by this duo across the net.

[To be re-issued in 2011; see com­ments below]

Reviewed by O.S.


A1 Grat­it­udes (14:30)

B1 Walled (6:15)
B2 The Proph­et’s Pen Ablaze (2:52)
B3 Wal­less (4:05)