Nic Nassuet's latest album is called 'Eleutherios', an ancient Greek term that refers to two Greek gods: Dionysus and Eros.Hailing from Hollywood, California, Nassuet writes and sings Gothic folk music, sometimes called Neo-folk; a genre that emphasizes the neo-pagan by means of cultural and literary references.
Gothic folk music is dark and full of despair. Fortunately, Nassuet doesn't get swallowed up in the whole doom and gloom aspects. Yes, his songs are emotional and stygian, but they don't leave listeners suicidal.
'Eleutherios' contains nine tracks that vary enough to keep things interesting. The best track on the album is 'Immured', which carries heavy influences of rock opera. The song starts with delicate strings, and then Nassuet's voice joins in, backed up by Catrina Grimm, who has a delightfully light and airy voice. Tinker-Bellish might be an apt description.
'When It Falls' presents four different instruments: guitar, bass, cello and violin. One expects a layered sound; but it's not there. The musicians manage to maintain a Spartan quality, which provides a distinctive sound.
'Cross and Crown' and 'Goodnight, Goodbye' feature thick layers of acoustic guitar that drive their melodies. And both tunes present a heavy dose of pomp and circumstance. 'Goodnight, Goodbye' tosses in a Gothic choir that actually works quite well, especially since it avoids the tendency of many Gothic folk songs - to go all Vincent Price on listeners.
'Eleutherios' is a good album. However, an immediate qualifier must be added: it's a good album if you like Gothic folk music. If you don't, this definitely won't be your cup of tea. Like most sub-genres of music, Gothic folk is an acquired taste. It takes some getting used to because it's heavy on the angst, black, depressing and often overplayed; although Nassuet avoids the latter error.
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