Reviews of Recitals to Renewal




From Ironflame On-line Journal / Aus Ironflame Online-Zeitschrift:

"There are records which one doesn’t want to review and put into words at all, but instead wishes to first listen carefully to every track, to deduce the overall context, to discover ever new nuances with every listening.  And then one stands there at the end completely speechless.  Unfortunately, this happens to the gentle reviewer all too often, and this album is no exception to that rule.  Moreover, it received frequent plays like scarcely any other work in all the available CD-players within reach of the household.  When Nick’s mail arrived at the beginning of last year [2000], asking whether he could send me the debut album of the group Lady Morphia, I expected, on account of the name, a gothic version of Marianne Faithful or something similar.  However, I was as wide of the mark as it is possible to be.  Even the first glance at the cover spoke volumes: the reverse / track-listing classically typeset in customary DI6 fashion, plus pictures that are very similar to those by Fidus.  The album admittedly starts with chants pinched from a Polish male society, but these are soon interrupted by a martial scream.  Ritual drumming, lots of samples and dark textures prepare the introduction for the next track, which makes one sit up and take notice right from the first bar and sets the direction of march for the whole album.  It quickly becomes clear that Death in June and Strength Through Joy have been blessed with worthy successors, who have a good command of one thing above all else: the English language, the lyrical use of which, as well as talent and a good measure of vocal skill, are all factors that are so painfully lacking in so many of their plagiarists.  That Death in June’s overused Runes-of-Men harmonies are musically discernable now and again should only be mentioned briefly here, and this is not to be taken as a negative judgement.  After all, the related musical genre dark ambient struggles with similar conformities and parallels.  What makes the album so bright and worth hearing is the diversity and tremendous freshness with which the no less than fourteen compositions are presented, which by no means remain trapped in familiar neo-folk structures.  Chris Nedzynski, who as drummer rather plays second fiddle, even contributes an ominous dark-ambient filler of almost four minutes in length; and Over Ruins, Beauty’s Decay and Palingenesis are likewise light-years away from the neo-folk genre.  On the other hand, Retreat into the Forest makes use of a somewhat forgotten oeuvre that vividly recalls the military-drum variant of neo-classical music propounded by the two Humberstone brothers, In the Nursery.  In contrast to those two, though, there is always a helping of philosophical extras as a side-dish in Lady Morphia’s case.  With particular frequency – indeed, almost exclusively – these textual fragments, original recordings and influences are directly connected to the work and creations of Ernst Jünger, to whom this production, which breathes the spirit of Europe through and through, is dedicated.  In general, one is absolutely inclined to believe Nick Nedzynski when he claims that he uses his music principally as a means of expression for his personal obsessions and as a philosophical method of coming to terms with the recent past and future of humanity, and that he would only like to see the work understood secondarily as an entertaining product for third parties.  Whether due to interest in these philosophical foundations or simply out of enthusiasm for the fresh and lively music, Lady Morphia have caused quite a stir, and it was only a question of time before the wheels began to turn.  As such, the next album will appear on the in-house label of Tesco Distribution, who have also been in charge of Recitals to Renewal since its second edition.  Stephan Pockrandt secured acceptance for a work with six new songs for his Eislicht 10” series (which unfortunately has not been released to date).  The initial hesitancy as regards live appearances has likewise subsided, and concerts in London and Croatia are in store for the spring of this year [2001].  New blood rarely does as much good as in Lady Morphia’s case, and one can look forward to a great future for the duo (not to mention their guest female vocalist, Emily, who will hopefully be integrated more intensively soon).  Together with :Of the Wand and the Moon:, Lady Morphia were the newcomer and hope of the year 2000 at the same time.  5/5”.  (Taro Torsay)         

„Es gibt Platten, die will man gar nicht besprechen und in Worte fassen, sondern sich stattdessen erst einmal in jedes Stück hineinhören, sich dann den Gesamtzusammenhang erschließen, bei jedem Hören wieder neue Nuancen entdecken und steht am Ende dann völlig sprachlos da. Passiert dem geneigten Rezensenten leider allzuoft und dieses Album bildet da keine Ausnahme, lief es doch häufig wie kaum ein anderes in allen erreichbaren und vorhandenen CD-Playern des Haushalts. Als mich zu Beginn letzten Jahres Nicks Mail erreichte, ob er mir das Debütalbum der Formation Lady Morphia schicken dürfte, erwartete ich ob des Namens eine Gothic-Ausgabe Marianne Faithfulls oder ähnliches, lag also so daneben, wie man nur daneben liegen kann. Schon der erste Blick aufs Cover dann sprach Bände: die Rückseite/Tracklisting klassisch gesetzt wie von DI6 gewohnt, dazu Bilder, denen eines Fidus doch sehr ähnlich. Zwar startet das Album mit den geklauten Chorälen eines polnischen Männerbundes, doch schon bald unterbricht ein martialischer Schrei, und rituelles Getrommele, eine Menge Samples und dunkle Flächen bereiten die Einleitung für den nächsten Track, der gleich beim ersten Takt aufhorchen lässt und die Marschrichtung für das ganze Album vorgibt. Schnell wird klar: Death in June und Strength Through Joy haben würdige Nachfolger bekommen, die vor allem eines beherrschen: die englische Sprache, deren lyrische Verwendung sowie Talent und ein gehöriges Maß an Stimme, alles Faktoren, die so vielen Plagiatoren so schmerzlich abgehen. Dass musikalisch hin und wieder Death in Junes Allerwelt-Runes-of-Men-Harmonien anklingen, sei hier nur kurz erwähnt und nicht als negative Wertung aufzufassen. Die vewandte Musikgattung Dark Ambient kämpft schließlich mit ähnlichen Übereinstimmungen und Parallelen. Was das Album so frisch und hörenswert erschein lässt, ist die Vielfalt und unerhörte Frische, mit der immerhin 14 Kompositionen am Stück präsentiert werden, die keineswegs nur bekannten NeoFolk-Strukturen verhaftet bleiben; Chris Nedzynski, der als Drummer eher die zweite Geige spielt, steuert sogar einen bedrohlichen Dark-Ambient-Füller von beinahe vier Minuten bei und auch ‚Over Ruins, ‚Beauty's Decay’ und ‚Palingenesis’ sind vom Genre NeoFolk Lichtjahre entfernt, ein etwas in Vergessenheit geratenes Œuvre bedient hingegen ‚Retreat into the Forest’, das die Military-Drum-NeoKlassik Variante der In-the-Nursery-Brüder Humberstone wieder lebhaft in Erinnerung ruft. Anders als die beiden, gibt es bei Lady Morphia noch immer eine Portion philosophischer Extras als Beigabe, ganz besonders häufig, beinahe ausschließlich stehen diese Textfragmente, Originalaufnahmen und Einflüsse in direktem Zusammenhang mit dem Werk und Schaffen Ernst Jüngers, dem diese heroische und durch und durch den Geist Europas atmende Produktion denn auch gewidmet ist. Überhaupt ist man durchaus geneigt, Nick Nedzynski zu glauben, dass er die Musik hauptsächlich als Ausdrucksmittel seiner persönlichen Obsessionen und philosophische Bewältigung der jüngeren Vergangenheit und Zukunft der Menschheit nutzt und erst sekundär das Werk als unterhaltendes Produkt für Dritte verstanden sehen möchte. Ob nun Interesse an philosophischem Unterbau oder nur aus Begeisterung für die frische und lebendige Musik: Lady Morphia haben ordentlich Staub aufgewirbelt und es war nur eine Frage der Zeit, bis die Räder sich zu drehen begannen. So wird das nächste Album auf dem hauseigenen Label des Tesco-Vertriebs erscheinen, die auch Recitals to Renewal seit der zweiten Auflage betreuen, Stephan Pockrandt sicherte sich für seine Eislicht 10-Zoller-Vinylserie die Zusage für ein Werk mit sechs neuen Stücken (das leider bis dato noch immer nicht erschienen ist) und die anfängliche Zögerlichkeit in punkto Liveauftritte ist mittlerweile auch gewichen und Konzerte in London und Kroatien stehen noch im Frühling des Jahres ins Haus. Neues Blut tat selten so gut wie im Falle Lady Morphia und man darf auf eine große Zukunft der beiden (und ihrer Gastsängerin Emily, die hoffentlich in demnächst noch intensiver eingebunden wird), die neben :Of the Wand and The Moon: Newcomer und Hoffnung des Jahres 2000 zugleich waren, gespannt sein.  5/5“.  (Taro Torsay)



From Heimdallr On-line Journal:

"Here is finally the first full-length album from the two English brothers Nick and Chris Nedzynski under the name Lady Morphia. Their last release Pangæa (MCD 5 tracks, 1998) revealed many qualities and was indeed a very good production but compositions were a little bit too close to their obvious influences such as Death in June (Rose Clouds of Holocaust) or even Christian Death (Only Theatre of Pain).

More than a year is gone now and the time for maturity has come. When listening to that album, it seems that this period of time was longer or that we're confronted with another experienced band, considering the stunning beauty of this first-rate recording. It's comforting and stimulating to notice that England still has excellent "young" artists (excepting of course the famous ones we've been listening to the last 20 years) evolving in an apocalyptic neo-folk style, which is rather stronger in Germany nowadays.

Recitals to Renewal is dedicated to Ernst Jünger (1895-1998), whose influence is deeply present among these 14 tracks, not only in spirit but also through his lyrics and also a recording of his voice reading from his essay Das Sanduhrbuch. This wonderful work is their best and most accomplished to date. A fine neo-folk release, with acoustic guitars overlaid with lush neo-classical arrangements, very close to the best releases of the World Serpent catalogue. It features a wide range of styles such as a combination of Eurocentric 'apocalyptic folk', neo-classical, martial rhythms, experimental and even dark ambient, with percussive sounds coming from a varied instrumentation, from strings, woodwind, vibraphone to timpani, snares, floor drums, chimes, triangles, samples, amongst others. Whatever style they utilise, however, the Lady Morphia sound always remains exceptionally evocative and darkly compelling. The lyrics match this wealth of ideas, being at once beautifully poetic and engagingly ambiguous. As the title suggests, the album concerns itself with the overall theme of renewal. Other keywords include revival, regeneration, survival, the spirit, the past, the future, hope, despair and Europe.

The first track reminds me of the best period of In The Nursery, while the other ones will enjoy those who are familiar with Death in June, Ostara or Eyeless in Gaza. All this superbly packaged with stunning artwork in the booklet. This is a brilliant album which is of course highly recommended”.  (Stéphane Fivaz)


From Judas Kiss Magazine:

“With the release of Recitals to Renewal Lady Morphia have been creating immense waves within the scene and have struck up enough interest to almost guarantee that they will be a name to stand alongside the likes of Der Blutharsch, Death in June and the like.  From the opening Germanic choir sample on Hope and Despair the mood and atmosphere of the whole CD is set.  Images of war and destruction set within the expanses of Europe are apparent throughout each track.  With the use of snares and samples a military feel is never too far away, and this coupled with acoustic guitars and neo-classical arrangements generate an impression and feel that many bands have attempted but very few have been able to pull off without sounding like copyists.  Luckily for LM, they add their own certain something which makes their music have a unique feel and sets them apart from other bands.  Vocals, which are an intricate piece of the structure for most of the tracks, have a subtle gothic feel to them and are carried along perfectly by the music that they coat.  From their last CD, LM’s sound now seems to have a direction to head to and has matured to a great degree, while the band as a whole have found a style they can work incredibly well with.  This release is dedicated to the memory of Ernst Jünger, whose presence is apparent in at least two tracks via the use of texts written by him and a recording of him reading from an essay of his.  Again, this helps with the structure and feel that the CD offers.  Recitals to Renewal is a milestone within the European apocalyptic (industrial) scene and has helped LM to become a central player within this genre”.  (Lee Powell)  


Aus Membrum Debile Propaganda Katalog:

„Tja, diese CD ist der andere ultimative Folktip und die Riesenüberraschung.  Mir war diese englische Band bisher nicht bekannt, obwohl es wohl schon weitere Veröffentlichungen / Samplerbeiträge gegeben hat.  Überwindung kostet wohl für einige sicher der Bandname, der eher an Gothic / S&M erinnert, damit aber ganz und gar nichts zu tun hat.  Denn was sich hier eröffnet ist feinster heroischer Folk der Spitzenklasse.  Die Band hat mehr Potential, als die meisten Folkalben der letzten Zeit zusammen genommen.  Was mir persönlich auch so gut gefällt, daß die CD sehr vielfältig ist.  Neben typischen Folk-Passagen gibt es viele Samples (ich errinere mich, Leni Riefenstahl, Ernst Jünger u. ä. vernommen zu haben) und rituelle Teile.  Großer Pluspunkt ist auch die phänomenale Stimme.  Diese CD ist ERNST JÜNGER in memoriam erinnert.  Musikalisch absolute Spitzenklasse, lyrisch genauso.  Thematisch sehr deutsch geprägt.  Ich denke, die CD sollte ein Megaerfolg werden.  Musik zum feiem...“.     (Silvio Kessmann)


From Achtung Baby! on-line cultural journal:

JÜNGER JUGEND

“So, this album is worthy to be heard at least because of its dedication to the greatest German writer, theoretician and soldier Ernst Jünger (1895-1998) whose philosophical traditions, heroic romanticism and outlook, as expressed in literary works, served as a stream of confession and inspiration to the epic sound-interpretation and creation of recitals by British brother-musicians Nick and Chris Nedzynski.  They first appeared in 1996 under the headline of the creative-ideological project LADY MORPHIA, borrowing the lines from the Robert Graves poem Surgical Ward: Men.  Via the spiritual aura of pan-European traditionalism, these musicians managed to create henceforth, on their first full-length release Recitals to Renewal, really deeply emotional and dramatically confessional lines about the fortunes of Europe, coloured by images of PAST and PRESENT.  Illustrated by the esoteric internal works of British artist Arthur Rackham (1867-1939), by images of the Wagnerian epic The Ring of the Nibelungen, and amply counting the various quotations of Jünger (up to the unique sample of the author’s performance of fragments from Das Sanduhrbuch), this album is presented as a unitary spiritual sonic-visual poem, where mixed folk-acoustic guitar passages, powerful bombarding drums, the whisper of keys and neo-classical orchestral sounds fight in disturbing confession with the soft vocal recitative, expressive samples of choral oratories and industrially-cabalistic dark spheres, recreating partly the images of victims and heroism, a heilige-triumph of spirit and will, giving birth to a graceful and luxurious picture for Mens and Anima.  Beginning with the Jüngerian quotation (from On the Marble Cliffs): ‘It is better to fall alone with the free than to go in triumph with the slaves’, the CD revives memories of the sound traditions of Death in June’s But, What Ends When the Symbols Shatter?, as well as images of Strength Through Joy, and the symbolism of Fidus and Thorak.  Overflowing with the spirit of Nietzscheanism and Spengler’s Der Untergang des Abendlandes, filled with the strong documentary images of Riefenstahl and the courageous poetics of Mishima, this work is built in such manner that (without odd pathos) softly involves the listener in the symbolism of sound images, until you unexpectedly discover yourself in the performance, finding the unusually sharp, strict outlines, so that after it you are struck dumb in a ‘freezing’, pensively digging in the suddenly apparent deafening silence, preserving the sound images.
To say: ‘This is good work’ means to say nothing. There are some other more objective criteria and deeply inward marks for it. These lines exist only on the level of intuitive perception.
The selected quotations:
Hope & Despair starts with daring documentary chronicles of the post war period, continuing the Jüngerian Der Arbeiter;
The Mirror of Shame suddenly releases Tibetan-ritual rhythms.  Dark and lifeless;
Beauty’s Decay converts into a dialogue with the spirit of Yukio Mishima – Japanese samples pushed forward in the mix, flute, cymbals, stringed instruments, bamboo;
Palingenesis – a culminating chord of the album: during the background peals of a storm-front the prophesying message of Ernst Jünger is sounding;
Parhelia at the Precipice includes an astonishing neo-classical insertion, assembling the lute music of early medieval Europe, performed on acoustic guitar.

The references: Der Blutharsch, Sol Invictus, NON, Christian Death, Ligetti, Gorecki, Otto Dix, George Grosz. The main force of the project, Nick Nedzynski, simultaneously writes reviews for the British underground culture ’zine Judas Kiss.  Exclusive distribution – through Tesco.  The group’s next work is planned to be born on Eis und Licht (the label of Sigill magazine)”.  (Igor Vaganov)


Aus Black-Magazin:

„Daß hinter dieser CD kein richtiges Label steht, ist mir unverständlich.  Umso schöner, daß Tesco kurzerhand entschlossen hat den Vertrieb  zu übernehmen (also nicht der Label ist!).  Der Prolog ‚Hope and Despair’ ist die bombastische Einführung in eine spannende und abwechslungsreiche Melange aus Folkakkorden im Stile Death in Junes ‚But, What Ends When the Symbols Shatter?’, Boyd Rice and Friends und Klangexperimenten.  Recitals to Renewal’ ist keine leicht verdauliche Kost, erschließt sich erst nach genauem mehrmaligen Hören und läßt dann alles klar und deutlich erscheinen: Europa wird durch unsere Herzen getragen, nicht durch Abkommen verräterischer Geldhaie.  Immer wieder kommt der alte Ernst Jünger in Form von Samples aus einer Lesung zu Wort und ich kann mich der ‚Sigill’ Review nur anschließen: Es ist fast zu viel.  Was neben den Akkorden aus Death in Junes ‚Runes and Men’ in ‚Wings of Survival’ in meinen Augen den einzigen Kritikpunkt ausmacht, wird durch echten Gesang (endlich mal kein Geflüster oder Folkrap) und den Einsatz schöner Drumpassagen sowie den eingreifenden Gemälden Rackhams wettgemacht.  Man kann auf das zweite Album (wahrscheinlich dann auf Tesco) sowie eine 10” auf Eis & Licht gespannt sein“.  (:RN*E:)


From The Original Sin Magazine:

“‘…Brilliant! Great songs and great artwork…a fantastic work’ are the words Douglas P. from Death in June has used when describing the debut-CD from this British dark neofolk-band.  And as it’s totally impossible to disagree with one of the most groundbreaking acts from the darkwave-industrial scene I take this man’s words for the truth (….and if that isn’t enough, the same words were being said by Albin Julius from Der Blutharsch!!!).  One thing is for sure.this album is a very big step forward for the brothers Nedzynski.  Whereas their former release Pangæa was very much inspired by the first albums from Death In June (albeit it’s an excellent release) this album is like if they worked and worked till the sound became something overwhelming.  Fourteen tracks are bathed in a classical atmosphere (done with instruments that you won’t find that much in today’s releases) and the neofolk-songs are added with samples (from spoken words to choral samples)…and so you’re almost forced to say it’s as great as Current 93, Der Blutharsch, Fire and Ice, Ordo Equilibrio or any other respected darkfolk-band I can think of.  An album with a dark undertone but it’s like they say themselves also an album that gives hope… .  Topstuff”.  (Didier Beçu)


From Sententia On-line Journal:

"Take Ostara's Secret Homeland and multiply it by X. I'm glad to hear that there are more neo-folk artists around who do not fear the experiment. This is the first full length CD of Lady Morphia and as far as I can tell, the brothers Nick and Chris Nedzynski released it themselves.
Recitals To Renewal contains both typical neo-folk songs, both in the 'World Serpent vein' and the 'Eis & Licht vein', but also has dark ambient, soundscape tracks and more modern sounding neo-folk, a bit like Ostara. Actually the vocals already remind of Ostara... A fact is that Lady Morphia takes things even further than Ostara and there is an even higher level of experimentation. Also here you will hear a rhythm section as times, but also drumming which sounds synthetic, further a lot more samples and more keyboard. Around the end we hear some medievalish tunes and then there are of course the totally electronic tracks.
So if you got used to Secret Homeland and you are ready for something more, it is time to buy Recitals To Renewal.  4/5”.
<9/9/00>


From The Sanctuary On-line Journal / Aus Reactor-Magazin:

“The first long play CD of the two Nedzynski brothers is a real surprise in the barren landscape of sombre, English sounds - which are normally oscillating between low-budget technoid rhythms and Sisters/Fields goth-rock clones. Actually these young men propose a very good dark-folk, apocalyptic music. Truly, the influences of 'The Masters' like Death In June or more recently Ostara (ex-Strength Through Joy) remain, but the music has a strong personal touch and tries to integrate elements from the 80ies' gothic sounds, classic music or even Wagneresque orchestrations like those from Koda (In The Nursery). Additionally this album features sumptuous illustrations and is dedicated to the memory of the controversial German writer Ernst Jünger (1895-1998) - a Nihilist fond of nature and Nietzsche, a collector of butterflies, courageous warrior and anti-Nazi nationalist. Accordingly the song texts are impregnated with Eurocentrism and romanticism, concern themselves with the survival of our culture, of hope and hopelessness. They are underlain with neo-classical arrangements, simple guitar sounds, bells, martial percussion and voices inspired by liturgical choirs. Some passages are more experimental, some almost Pop (in the sense of Ostara's last album), but these are always mixed with tormented and sombre soundscapes which almost remind one of Christian Death's Atrocities but accompanied by Rose Clouds (from Death In June) guitar. This album can be recommended to all those who think that English music can no longer stir any emotions”.  (Antoine Indaco)

„Das erste Album von den Gebrüdern Nedzynski ist eine regelrechte Überraschung im tristen Panorama der düsteren englischen Musik, welche zwischen billigen technoiden Rhythmen und Gothic-Rock-Klons pendelt. Tatsächlich schlagen die zwei jungen Leute Dark/Apokalyptic-Folk von sehr gutem Bau vor. Der Einfluss der Meister der Gattung (Death in June, Ostara Ex-Strength Trough Joy) ist spürbar, aber Lady Morphia hat noch andere Einflüsse: Gothic-Musik der 80er Jahre, oder neoklassiche-wagnersche Orchestrationen in der Art von In the Nursery. Das Ganze wird durch die Widmung an den deutschen Schriftsteller Ernst Jünger (1895-1998) gekrönt, den naturliebenden Nihilisten, Nietzscheaner, den Deutsch-Nationalisten Anti-Nazi, den Schmetterling Liebhaber, den mutigen Krieger, den fein Gebildeten und hervorragenden Stilistiker. Unnötig beizufügen, dass die von Eurozentrismus und Romantik nur so triefenden Texte, vom Geist, von der Hoffnung und von der Verzweiflung handeln“.  (Antoine Indaco)


Fluxeuropa On-line Journal:

“This fourth release and first full-length offering from Lady Morphia is in the apocalyptic folk tradition and reminiscent of Sol Invictus in its lyrical themes. Nick and Chris Nedzynski employ acoustic guitars overlaid with neoclassical arrangements and choral samples. A wide range of percussion adds a strong martial quality. I liked the martial track on the earlier work, Pangæa, and I'm glad to see Nick has developed this aspect. The album, which references and is dedicated to the celebrated German writer, Ernst Jünger, is available directly from Lady Morphia at the address below”.  (RIK - 14 March 2000)


Aus Sigill-Magazin:

„Auf ihrer Debütmaxi merkte man die Gothiceinflüsse noch deutlich.  Hier sind sie ganz geschwunden.  Lady Morphia treten ab sofort in die direkten Fußstapfen von Death in June aus der ‚But What Ends...’ Phase.  Das tun sie aber keinesfalls schlecht, wenn auch besonders ‚Heimat’ oder ‚Wings of Survival’ nach den Veteranen klingen.  Recitals to Renewal’ hat aber auch gänzlich eigne Stärken, die Aufmachung ist schön und der Umstand, das die CD vollständig Ernst Jünger gewidmet ist, lassen aufhorchen.  Zudem kommt die Band auch aus England, so das Texte und Stimme keinen Grund für Kritteleien hergeben.  Apropos Ernst Jünger, der übrigens vielfach gesampelt wird: Es ist schon fast  zuviel des Guten, was die Band hier verwurstet  - Lesungen, Zitate, Texte, Gedanken... Doch - die Musik und die Umsetzung sind so, wie wir es uns wünschen und lassen keinen Zweifel aufkommen, das hier ein neuer Stern am Neofolkhimmel auferstanden ist.  Und das letztlich noch die alte Leni zu Wort kommt - schön!  Ich bin begeistert und kann es kaum noch lassen, diese CD rotieren zu hören“.  (SP)


From Rockerilla Magazine:

“‘Un album fantastico!’ (Douglas P., Death in June); ‘una prova grandisa – atmosfere potenti e stupende…’ (Albin Julius, Der Blutharsch).  Cosi questi artisti hanno salutato l’esordio dei Lady Morphia, giovane formazione dell’Essex guidata da Nick Nedzynski (voce, chitarra, tastiere, basso, percussioni) insieme con Chris Nedzynski (batteria, samples, tapes) per la gioia di chi come il sottoscritto è sensibile al fascino della musica lirico-decadente.  Dopo un pregevole tris di uscite brevi il duo inglese consegna la sua prova più ambita, ovvero il debut album Recitals to Renewal, quasi un’ora di ascolti grandiosi nel tempo aureo della forma neoclassica e del folk spiritual-rivoluzionario stile Death in June.  Qui sono infatti  le radici musicali degli autori e qui prendono vita le loro splendide canzoni percorse di accordi fulgurali e ritmi solenni, di armonie e melodie dai toni aurei e quantomai evocativi.  Ma hanno dovuto ispirarsi alla letteratura eroica di Ernst Jünger per fare questo, al dramma del nostro tempo e al sogno proibito di un rinascimento europeo prossimo ventura.  Quattoridici titoli per un’esperienza di ascolti memorabili che fan sognare di un’esistenza più vera e radiosa.  Che altro dire?  Mi hanno già preso il cuore!’.  (Aldo Chimenti)


Aus Sonic Seducer-Magazin:

„Vorab ein Geständnis: Lady Morphia waren mir bis dato als Band unbekannt.  Obwohl sie schon zwei Tapes und eine MCD unter diesem Namen herausgebracht haben, ist ‚Recitals to Renewal’ das Erste, was ich von ihnen höre.  Schön, daß auf der Neofolk-Welle nicht nur schlechte Kopien und Möchtegern-Barden schwimmen, sondern auch musikalisch versiertere wie eben Lady Morphia.  Recitals To Renewal’ führt uns mit 14 Tracks durch die Welt des Neofolks und der Neoklassik.  Natürlich dürfen auch hier Klischees nicht fehlen (ich sage nur: Die immer gleichen wichtigen Persönlichkeiten, deren Zitate gesampelt werden; die immer gleichen Fotos von den immer gleichen Kultplätzen, aber das sei Lady Morphia verziehen, sind sie doch Engländer und werden somit ihre Zitate und verwendeten Photos noch als Seltenes erleben, auch wenn ich hier nur gelangweilt gähnen kann).  Tatsache ist, daß hier ausgereifte, abwechslungsreiche Musik mit intelligenten, philosophischen Texten geboten wird.  Die äußerst klangvolle Stimme von Nick Nedzynski, unterstützt von mannigfaltigen akustischen und elektronischen Instrumenten, schafft diese typisch melancholisch-verträumte, illusionslose Welt, in der sich jeder Neofolkliebende und -lebende wohl fühlen wird.  Klassische Neofolk-Stücke wie ‚Sun Spirits’, ‚Wings Of Survival’ oder ‚Brothers’ wechseln sich mit rituell-mythischen Ambient-/Minimalstücken wie ‚The Mirror Of Shame’, ‚Palingenesis’ oder ‚Beauty's Decay’ ab; natürlich dürfen auch sinnschwerer Prolog und Epilog nicht fehlen... .  Endlich einmal wieder ein Album, das von Anfang bis Ende sinnvoll durchdacht ist; Struktur aufweist und trotzdem zu verzaubern weiß“.  (Frauke Stöber)


From Zeitgeist On-line Journal:

”This first full-length offering from Lady Morphia follows on from an EP and a couple of tape releases, all of which have been reviewed and enjoyed by Zeitgeist.
Nick and Chris Nedzynski have gone for a mainly acoustic approach, but still with a healthy dose of classical and gothic overtones which make for intense listening.  There's a new, almost operatic theme to some of the material which coupled with a unique, interpretative use of samples and percussion makes for intense but pleasurable listening.
I've been critical of the vocals in the past and these now seem more spoken than sung which actually makes for a far better sound.  This is by far and away the best yet from Lady Morphia, and comes highly recommended”.  (Stuart A. Hamilton)


From The Seventh Seal Magazine:

Recitals to Renewal is Lady Morphia's first full-length release, and at over 55 minutes, a substantial epic it is too.  It focuses on the theme of spiritual renewal, and is highly eclectic in its use of musical instruments, which range from woodwind to timpani, gong and floor drums, as well as choral samples.  

It opens with a very Gregorian prologue, but the monastic chanting soon breaks into something far more powerfully orchestral featuring guest female background vocals, threatening whispers in the background, bells and gongs.  A very strong opening indeed, mystical.

Sun Spirits which follows, is a ballad set against folky guitars and a solitary bell, and has the tinniness I would associate with a Sol Invictus song; Heimat, which follows it, is similar in constitution; each song is well complemented by the strong vocals of Nick Nedzynski.

The Mirror of Shame, however, is the work of his brother, Chris Nedzynski, and is one of the most superbly spooky compositions I have heard in a long time.  It features deep cavernous sighs against the sound of dripping water, with a sinister echo that could have come straight from the Marabar caves.  Boum.

Wings of Survival is another ballad set against guitar, though the muffled voices in the background keep up the rather sinister atmosphere.  Beauty's Decay, however, is a slowly-atmospheric track which, with its Buddhist chants, muttered whispers set to lone strings, has an Asiatic feel.

Brothers and Commonwealth are really one song combined, and feature the SI or DIJ-type song structure again.  I am not too sure these did not go on a little too long, actually, though as this style of music is about a whole genre of dark folk, it would perhaps be strange if it did not feature, well, folky songs.

Palingenesis, however, brings back that spookily sinister atmosphere, through whispers and clock set to spoken Teutonic vocals (which belong to a certain Ernst Jünger, to whom much of

the message of this album is dedicated).  Shades of late Ikon, and very effective!  It is followed by Feral Eyes, which is once again a ballad, but balanced yet again, with another experimental, very atmospheric track: Over Ruins.  This actually, has strong shades of early Engelsstaub - creepy echoed voice in unknown tongue, against desolate landscape sounds, running down to a Hal-like death.

The Retreat into the Forest features a baleful cello and other such strings, against a spoken diatribe; and this is a device also used to good effect by other artists within the genre, for example Penitent and Zoar.

Parhelia at the Precipice that follows it, is a slow, warmly melodic song, and finally brings a little sentiment to the album.  Finally, the epilogue Spero-de-spero, closes the album, and is an aching piano instrumental, sounding like a scratchy 45.  And this made me think of early Lacrimosa.

This is a very rich and well-conceived album and whilst it seems to move at a fairly relaxed pace at times, it most certainly deserves to stand side by side along with the best of artists who stand within this category.  It is also very refreshing to see a newer, UK-based artist, who is unafraid to move beyond the usual tongue-in-cheek slapstick of so many contemporaries around at the moment”.  (Lynda Stevens)


From Bizarre Magazine:

“Follow up to the mini album Pangæa which came out in ’98, and now they have spread their wings with this full-length opus.  Like a flag unfurling in the wind, this album shows strongly where their lineage comes from – the likes of Death in June, In the Nursery and Dead Can Dance.  Epic neo-folk and militaristic beats draw us into an ancient world full of myths and legends.  Choral ambiences re-affirm this connection with a more pagan heart and its closeness to nature.  Already garnering plaudits from various critics, this album looks set to push Lady Morphia into a wider arena”.  (Alex Novak)  


From Dagobert’s Revenge Magazine:

“Hailing from England, Lady Morphia are a welcomed inclusion to the apocalyptic folk genre.  At times sounding similar to Death In June’s latest musickal incarnations, yet, all the while, managing to remain individualistic in their approach.  Beautiful, shimmering guitar work, and a songwriting sensibility that is pure craftsmanship.  Occasional smatterings of piano, strings, kettledrums and the like.  Stoic vocals sung with a cold tone are a highlight, and the lyrics are as intense as the way they are sung.  ‘Divine Equilibrium, this is the law’ is just a sampling of their law-of-the-strong-like lyrics.  The Teutonic apocalypse, Ragnarök, finally arriving; Holy Spirits crying for blood; weeping wounds; the stillness of night; rapturous prayer; the decay of beauty; and manifold mysteries are just some of the lyrical fare that you are in store for by listening to this release.  As well, the whole work is dedicated to the memory of Ernst Jünger, and the influence shows.  While I would recommend this to anyone into World Serpent musicks and apocalyptic folk, I also would recommend it to those that normally would listen to different musick.  While it’s not quite a masterpiece, I would venture to say that, down the road, Lady Morphia are quite capable of creating a recording that will stand the test of time.  In the meantime, we’ll just have to settle for the amazingly good Recitals To Renewal, and wait for the masterpiece that is sure to come soon”.  (James P. Bergman) 


From Aquamarine Magazine:

“Lady Morphia make dark music so there's sure to be someone lazy enough to class them as goth, but in reality there's much more to dark music than just goth.  They basically make a kind of dark music which can be loosely classed as folk, but also has classical influences, and there is also some eerie experimentation such as The Mirror Of Shame and Over Ruins.  This is a musically and lyrically grandiose album; the lyrics often have references to Greek mythology and are written in a similar style to 19th century poetry.  I'd use the word 'epic' but the songs are too short to technically qualify as epics.  Whilst 'understated' is not a word which applies to this album, it doesn't sound forced or fake”.  (Kim Harten)


From Funeral Procession On-line Journal:

“After having read some favourable reviews I could not refrain from obtaining this album. Lady Morphia is a British neo-folk ensemble in the best World Serpent tradition.  On this album the band consists of Chris & Nick Nedzynski, the latter has written most songs.  The album has been dedicated to the memory of the German writer Ernst Jünger (1895-1998), who you can hear read a fragment on one track.  Lady Morphia as a band makes pleasant acoustic folky music, reminding me a bit of Strength through Joy / Ostara.  The vocals are good and a variety of instruments are used.  Some of my favourite tracks are Sun Spirits, Brothers and Commonwealth.  A recommended release if you're into neo-folk stuff and well-written songs”.  (Hans D.)


From Last Sigh On-line Journal:

“Lady Morphia was started in 1996 by Nick and Chris Nedzynski, this is their fourth album, and it's currently available through 2 German distributors, Tesco and Triton. Chris and Nick are joined on this album by Emily Woodall, who does some excellent backup vocal work, and Jon Mizzi, who does equally good work on keyboards.
The music on this CD has a very wide range of sound, everything from Gregorian chant, to neoclassical ballads, to oriental stringed instrumental music, but it all stays in the same sort of genre, and manages to stay bound together while wandering through its various stylings. The instrument work is very high calibre, but the vocals I found to be very melodramatic at times, yet not enough to really detract from the feel of the album. As the title implies, the theme of the album is on the topic of rebirth, as likened to the phoenix, first must be destroyed by fire before being born again.  This theme gives it a very primal and epic feel, the song Sun Spirits in particular I found to be epic and moving in telling of the Nordic myth of Ragnarök.
Overall, a very beautiful and moving album, not only for the music, but also for the words behind the music, the poetry of the lyrics really seemed to be the high point, leaving one with a feeling of hope after listening to this CD all the way through.   If this release is representative of the rest of their work, well, they just had a new convert”.  (Jed Hartgrove)


From Soleilmoon Catalogue:

“Nick and Chris Nedzynski are Lady Morphia.  Their eponymous album blends an assortment of dark, gothic elements together, borrowing from Death in June, Sol Invictus, and even Laibach.  Combining Nordic choirs, acoustic 12 string guitar, military snare, male and female vocals, even a vibraphone, Lady Morphia make well crafted and original music that’s perfect for a dark night in November”.


From Cold Magazine:

"Recitals to Renewal to pierwszy pełnowymiarowy album Lady Morphii.  Podczas gdy poprzednim wydawnictwem, EP-ką Pangæa grupa dobrze rokowala na przyszłość, to tym w pełni  udowodniła, na co ją stać.  Lady Morphia gra wyrafinowany dark folk, a jej muzycznym mistrzem, co trochę słychać, jest Death in June.  Mający polskie korzenie bracia Nick i Chris Nedzynscy brzmiene akustycznych gitar uzupelnili bogatym w zapętlone taśmy podkładem, a także licznymi instrumentami perkusyjnymi.  Nastrojowe piosenki przepletli klimatami darkambientowo-industrialnymi i elementami kojarzącymi się z militarnym stylem der Blutharsch.  Żarliwy glos Nicka góruje nad całością, naznaczając ją wyrazistym piętnem.  Z opisu mogloby się wydawać, że w sumie Lady Morphia nie prezentuje niczego nowego.  Tak jest w rzeczywistości, co nie zmienia faktu, że Recitals to Renewal to znakomita plyta, której świetnie się słucha”.  (Tomek Zrąbkowski) 


From Underground Osmosys On-line Journal:

“The dark-folk music scene must be grateful for such a powerful and distinguished achievement as that which has been constructed by this marvellous conceptual duo.  It seems that the UK is very responsible for sharing such musicians with us.  After David Michael Tibet and Douglas P., now it is Lady Morphia’s turn to shock the musical reality, and the impact is fantastic: a poetic male voice, mesmerising choral samples, neo-classical arrangements, brilliant acoustic and electric guitars, military drums, percussion and profound lyrics.  These are literally the ingredients reflecting their music dimension.  We may say, that a renewal of the dark-folk concept was established thanks to Nick and Chris Nedzynski.  I am looking forward to their future productions”.  (Iulian Scutaru)




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