(Rosarivm Fraternitas Spiritualis)
Dark folk, Apocalyptic folk
Hexvessel, Death in June, Darkwood
Dark folk, Neo folk, Apocalyptic folk, whatever you want to call it are mysterious and intriguing genres. There is so much to explore and we have just started to scratch the surface of these genres. Along our journey to seek out a hidden gem of the dark folk world we stumbled across Splendor Soils from Arkhangelsk, Russia. Their debut album, Rosarivm: Fraternitas Spiritualis features five beautifully written Dark folk songs that are very atmospheric and haunting. Released through the Eastern European label Sulphur Flowers Records, who specialize in the dark folk genre, this album brings forth a calmness and sadness that will succumb over you.
There is not much literature to be found about Splendor Solis, but what we do know is these are some of the best tracks of the Dark folk genre we have laid our ears upon in a long time. Our experience begins with the eloquent intro “Omnes Eodem Cogimur,” it’s a short, peaceful instrumental of acoustics and violin. This leads us to “Contritum,” with its ever so haunting ambiance. The ghostly echoed vocals are very soft and whisper-like and the percussion is absolutely mesmerizing. The interaction between the viola and the acoustics on the next song “Septem Dona Spiritus Sancti” brings feelings of reflection and melancholy, the last half of this track is mostly ambiance, but if you listen closely there is a very low-toned ghostly voice underneath the music, it makes for a great headphone experience it’s quite a powerful instrumental. “Dies Irae” could be the most uplifting song of the bunch, there is a well-timed French horn to be found here and terrific background hyms, it’s too bad this one is only 2:29, just as it sucks you in, it ends.
The final track, “Rosarivm I, II et III” runs at an impressive 14 minutes long and is divided into three parts (I, II and III). The first part is a somber acoustic affair with deep vocals, a passive violin and a subtle French horn in the background. Part II is pure brilliance, the musicianship is uplifting, yet has a lonely feeling; it really invokes some emotions. Part III, the last section of this track is very spacious ambiance; it just soothes the mind and is extremely relaxing bringing our experience to a close.
1. Omnes Eodem Cogimur 01:00
2. Contritum 04:25
3. Septem Dona Spiritus Sancti 05:36
4. Dies Irae 02:29
5. Rosarivm I, II et III 14:00
We can’t express enough in words how beautifully structured the album is and the album cover art great as well, rounding out the overall package. So whether you’re a fan of the Dark folk genre or not, it’s worth your time to give these guys a listen, they may just open you up to a whole new world of music. - 2/28/2016
Standout Tracks: Contritum, Dies Irae