NEUTRAL - Of Shadow and Its Dream - CD - 6 tracks - Cynfeirdd - 2004

To say that this album was long awaited would be an understatement. The first confidential release from this Russian folk act formed in 1994, the live recording 'Walpurgis Night', had been well received in these pages almost four years ago. But since then, nothing much had been heard from them apart from the session broadcasted during one of our radio shows. Fortunately for all folk lovers, the French label Cynfeirdd has, at long last, taken the initiative to release the first studio album of this talented formation.

Neutral's music is an intricate combination of delicate guitar melodies, a soaring plaintive violin to which are added keyboards, a flute, a cello and a few subtle percussions. The long flowing songs are superbly illuminated by Ash's low spoken, almost whispered, vocals and Veronika's crystal clear voice. Classic elements for a folk act, but each one is played by an accomplished musician; something that can be felt in the quality of the compositions.
The album works well more as a whole than a sum of finely crafted songs; therefore it is difficult to highlight one song more than the others. These six calm and introspective songs create a pleasant, dream-like atmosphere that is full of a timeless and sweet melancholy that only the Slavs know how to express.

Some amongst the small contingent of fans from the early days may regret that amongst the six tracks on this album, two have already featured on other releases. However, both tracks fit in well with the others and, it would have been a real pity to relegate into obscurity the superb 'Diamonds in Your Hand' sung in collaboration with Romowe Rikoito, that was the only studio track on 'Walpurgis Night'.

'Of Shadow and Its Dream' is a pleasant and well-crafted album that is ideal for those long winter nights spent by the fire...


Ian C.
Winter 2004/2005

p.s. I forgot to mention that 'Of Shadow and Its Dream' comes in a digifile with an eight page booklet and is limited to 499 copies. So…

Contacts :
Neutral :
Cynfeirdd :

Neutral's radio-session is available for download as a cd quality mp3 on our Sessions page.