THE JOY OF NATURE AND DISCIPLINE - The Fog that Life is Haunted By - CD-R - 10 tracks - Reaping Horde - 2003

Released last year on the Portuguese label Reaping Horde, 'The Fog that Life is Haunted By' is the first full-length album from The Joy of Nature and Discipline. For those who have been following this very interesting and honest label since the beginning, this project from the Azores, in Portugal, is not completely unknown as The Joy of Nature and Discipline was already present with two tracks on the excellent 'Nemeth' compilation released a few years ago...

'The Fog that Life is Haunted By' gathers ten untitled tracks, combining with a rare harmony, dark ambient, experimental, folk, natural, ritual and traditional influences...
Passed the short strong and percussive introduction, the second track is built upon a ritual soundscape mixed with spoken words before leaving place to a beautiful accordion melody played by J. Aernus (Reaping Horde, Karnnos, Wolfskin...). The third track is orchestral and epic, using field recordings at the very end, whereas track IV sounds more as an experimental mixture of choral samples, ritual 'Asian' melody and peculiar vocals reminding diaphonic songs. Track V is a dark ambient passage, slow, calm, and almost meditative... It precedes a long masterful track that combines sounds from Nature (water, birds songs), with heartbeats, waves of atmospheric keyboards and spoken words... The seventh track mixes occasional heartbeats (again), with some small noises similar to indistinguishable voices murmuring in the background and a quite minimal and monotonous ambient accompaniment. Track VIII, though rather short, is certainly one of my favourites, combining with refinement the whispered male vocals of L.C., J.A.'s drawn out accordion (again), the whirling viola of Nerunbrir (Inverno) and a repetitive melody played on the guitar... A beautiful alchemy. The next track plunges the listener in a dark ambient atmosphere again and the album closes on an appealing very short folkish tune played by an acoustic guitar and a flute.

This diversity, far from hiding a stacking of tracks, is one of the main qualities of this record... each track plunges the listener into different dreams and moods yet they all form a coherent whole. This album has a certain 'je ne sais quoi' that makes it 'something special'...
'The Fog that Life is Haunted By' is a very rich album and each listening reveals some new subtleties, elements and dreams...

As it is always the case with Reaping Horde productions, a particular attention (to say the least) has been paid to the packaging. The record comes in an original hand-made A5 green hard paper, closed with a leather lace, with dried moss, wood and a booklet glued to the inner pages. Just amazing!

Highly recommended!

Nathalie F.
Summer 2004

The Joy of Nature And Discipline:
Reaping Horde:

Other Reaping Horde productions reviewed in our pages:
Wolfskin - Campos de Matanša
Once A Barge - The Withered Leaves
The Nemeth - Compilation

and an extensive interview of J. Aernus