Some albums that cross our path are deeper than others; regardless of their dynamic or minimalist qualities. Daemonia Nymphe’s interpretation and soundtrack for Macbeth is our choice this time and is a release we’ve been meaning to review for a little while now.
The band is the product of Spyros Giasafakis and Evi Stergiou. This release, in fact, is the original soundtrack commissioned by the National Theatre of Northern Greece.
From Equilibrium Records: “While employing their trademark combination of traditional archaic instrumentation and dreamlike female vocals, Daemonia Nymphe also expand their palette to include brass instrumentation, orchestral percussion or Scottish bagpipes, resorting to a myriad of guest musicians for these recordings. The complete work brings together mesmerizing lullabies sung in whispers and hushed voices, epic interludes driven by bombastic trumpets, battle passages paced to martial drumming, enticing dances set to exotic rhythms.”
Without having even looked at the track list prior to listening to track 2, I noticed its resemblance to that of a lullaby. Successful Daemonia Nymphe was as its title is in fact, “Witches Lullaby.”
This must have been an interesting performance of Shakespear’s play given the styalistic dynamics of this release. Track 3, “Never Shall Sun That Morrow See” has a bit of a minimalist Lisa Gerrard (Dead Can Dance) atmospheric feel while others such as tracks 6 and 8, “Suspicion” and “Into the Woods” respectfully have more of a dark ambient vibe. In the case of “Suspicion,” spectral whispers seem to weave in and out of the walls and thus gives the track more of a haunting feel.
Somewhat of a medieval/Renaissance style appears in “Macbeth’s Coronation” and yields a sense of celebration. “Hecate’s Wrath” is a twisted, disturbing sort of medieval circus sounding track with haunting violin and very effectively mixed female vocals layered in and out. Track 11, “Lady Macduff’s Lament” is a mostly acapella track containing a couple of layers of beautiful female harmonies that, when merged seem to form notes of their own. It starts off somber and haunting but then switches to uplifting toward the end.
As you might gather from this review, Daemonia Nymphe’s Macbeth is a pretty intriguing and diverse soundtrack for Shakespear’s classic. It must have been quite the undertaking in composition. Very nice. Go give it a listen.
Macbeth is released in a full-color digipak CD. The physical CD release includes two additional short pieces as bonus tracks. Digital version is also available.