Image © 2000
New World Music, Ltd
(30 September 2000) The latest album from Llewellyn
Moonlore (New World Records (UK) NWCD487, 2000) is meant to take
the listener on a musical adventure tale into history, reconstructing
one of the legendary druidistic games that took palce upon the full moon
adjoining Samhain. Regardless, it again features stunning vocal work
by Julianna and, written in a new age music style, can be closely compared
in to music by Enya, Miriam Stockley and Shanon (Celtic Classics I and
II, vocals by Leslie Dowdall). Woodwind sounds and vocal layers
contribute significantly to the relaxing nature of the music. The album
is comprised of nine tracks divided between instrumental and lyrical
Musical Discoveries reviewed Llewellyn's Tantric
Sexuality (review) earlier
this year. His latest album combines the artist's signature keyboard
textures with Uillean pipes, Irish Whistles, guitars, piano, flutes
and Celtic skin drums. Layers of Juliana's vocals and Tori Donovon's
recorders help transport the listener away into a mysterious and romantic
world of ancient landscapes. The album actually includes a "celebration of
the feminine and the Triple Goddess of druidic lore" and "includes
specially composed 'working' tracks ("The Maiden," "The Mother" and
"The Crone") suitable for use during ritual at full time or other events
on the pagan and personal calendar." While that may be a bit more than
what Musical Discoveries regular readers look for, the album indeed
contains some lovely music.
Llewellyn notes, "I wanted to further explore the topics
touched on my recent UK best selling album, Celtic Legend, especially
one of the legendary druid games called the wild hunt. This hunt was really
the first major test for young druids, an opportunity to flex new skills
and abilities by working on the elements around them, usually under the
cover of darkness. Moonlore documents the trials and tests of
one such druidic student, highlighting ativities with some of the chante
and vocals that may have played a part in such a test." The album's
first lyrical track "The Chill Wind" is an epic illustration of the
artist's intent effectively blending keyboard, traditional instrumentation
and layers of evocative vocals.
The stunning track "Sky Fire" most features Juliana's vocals.
It is a lyrical number and she is most closely compared to Miriam Stockley,
while airs of Enya can also be imagined in this number. This captivating
track (and highlight of the album) for us features a lovely solo lead vocal
while layers are used in the choruses to add further texture. Llewellyn
noted, "I wanted the song "Skyfire" to capture the moment when the young
maiden is trying to overcome her fears and remember her lessons to help
her win the wild hunt; the sky fire refers to the lightning (aka Mandragora's
spirit) that poses a challenge to the young druid. As you listen, you will
note that the tracks integrate the key natural elements of wind, sea, fire
and stone, all utilized in the manner done thousands of years ago."
Llewellyn's latest album Moonlore is a lovely collection
of instrumental and vocalise tracks certain to bring relaxation to its listeners.
A lovely booklet accompanies the compact disc with thumbnail photographs of
the artists. Click on the album cover to visit the label's websites—there are two: one for
American customers and another for those in the UK and Europe.
Drama develops as the album unfolds and while we would have enjoyed a few
more lyrical numbers like "Sky Fire" we found the album to be refreshing
in its combination of instrumentation and vocalise.
Read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order the album from amazon.com
here. Certain to appeal to
fans of Enya, Miriam Stockley, and Maggie Reilly (next review) this album
is worthy of further exploration and is a very nice listen!