Corvus Corax, Best of Corvus Corax (Noir Records, 2005)

Corvus Corax have been playing their unique brand of agressive Medieval music throughout their native Germany and the rest of Europe for over a decade. Now they have issued their first ever American release, a compilation of their best material to date. While they use a great variety of homemade instruments, all of which were originally developed in the Middle Ages, the standard Corvus Corax sound consists of five pipes and three drums in a full-tilt, spectacularly unsubtle bombardment of the eardrums. This will definitely not appeal to everybody, but the more I listened to it, the more I dug it. Most of the music on this CD is instrumental, with melodies that evoke a distant past but arrangements that put the group squarely on the cutting edge. The percussion, in particular, injects Corvus Corvax with an energy that would make a lot of arena rock bands envious. The handful of songs work well too, especially "Cheiron," with powerful deep harmonies and lyrics dating back to 100 A. D. Their sound and appearance might take some getting used to, but the music on Best of Corvus Corvax is too energetic and too much fun to be denied. And something tells me their concerts are an experience not to be missed; hopefully they'll make an effort to get over here often from this point.

Overall grade: B+

No comments: