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The Moon And The Nightspirit – Aether Award winner

The Moon And The Nightspirit
by Joseph Brewer at 16 July 2020, 3:23 PM

Formed in Hungary in 2003, THE MOON AND THE NIGHTSPIRIT have been a constant and innovative force in the pagan folk metal scene for the past seventeen years. In that span, they have written six albums, each richly immersed in a world that represents their ancestors or fables they grew up listening to as children. As a duo, Ágnes Tóth and Mihály Szabó have achieved incredible success in these albums by using these stories and folk instruments to fuel their artistry. Their newest album, “Aether”, sends the listener on a heavenly journey to find the divine essence of the soul.

Folk music has always interested me as someone who enjoys history. The focus in modern folk music tends to be a fusion of new techniques and ideas with instruments and stories from the past. This combination can often be incredibly powerful, engaging the listener and leaving them enthralled in the music that is being weaved. THE MOON AND THE NIGHTSPIRIT have seemingly mastered this ability over the course of their career. Seven albums dedicated to telling a pagan story, rich in its simplicity and diverse in its instrumentation. Both Tóth and Szabó are multi-instrumentalists, putting forth a dazzling display of ability and care with an array of acoustic and ancient instruments: dulcimer, harp, and kalimba to name a few.

Each song on the album fits together in a mystical and dreamy way. The ambiance is hard to miss on “Aether”. Within seconds, you are immersed in their story world, walking barefoot through a lush, mossy forest, surrounded by a misty celestial aura that is pulling you along. Tóth takes the role of lead vocals, and her voice is absolutely divine. A soft, angelic force that is weaved into the song as fluidly as any other instrument. Often accompanied by plucking harp strings, her layered voice is a key component to the ethereal pagan sound in the album. Szabó is used as a singer sparingly, but for maximum effect. With Tóth representing the light angelic side of their music, Szabó delivers a rough, throaty growl, and sometimes roar, that provides a well needed touch of darkness. Both singers, however, take a backseat to the instrumentation. The instrumental work on this album is outstanding. Favoring restraint, control, and emotion, the music found in each track is layered, delicate, complex, and more. To me, this comes off as a sign of maturity and expertise as musicians.

Overall, “Aether” has me very interested in the pagan folk metal genre, and even more so impressed by the talent of Tóth and Szabó of THE MOON AND THE NIGHTSPIRIT. Listening to it as a reviewer made me open my mind up a bit to explore their ideas. Most albums are focused on melody and hooks. “Aether” pays homage to ancestors, storytelling, and musicianship in such an intriguing way that the lack of a catchy chorus is not missed. This is not an album to binge once and then move on from. Quite the opposite, THE MOON AND THE NIGHTSPIRIT are extremely thoughtful in their delivery, each pluck of the harp or chime of the kalimba adding just enough to the enchanting nature of each track. I was delighted to close my eyes and engross myself in this world and I would recommend that others check out “Aether” by THE MOON AND THE NIGHTSPIRIT and do the same.

Favorite Songs: “Kaputlan Kapukon Át”, “Logos

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Aether
2. Kaputlan Kapukon Át
3. Égi Messzeségek
4. A Szárny
5. Logos
6. A Mindenség Hívása
7. Asha
Ágnes Tóth
Mihály Szabó
Record Label: Prophecy Productions


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