Review: Liholesie “Shamanic Twilight” [Infinite Fog Productions]

Review: Liholesie “Shamanic Twilight” [Infinite Fog Productions]

- in Reviews

After relatively long break the Russian ritual folk band Liholesie has returned with a brand new album Shamanic Twilight, via Infinite Fog Productions, marking it as number six in its long 20-year career. Liholesie (which translates from Russian as Mirkwood, dark corrupted forest in Tolkien universe) is rather a one-man project, under strict guidance of their mastermind Sever, who is responsible for all these ritualistic imaginations and sophisticated ambiance.

Shamanic Twilight isn’t too epic a journey, it’s rather calm and intimate, inviting you to meditate and pondering in the safety of the lush pine trees about our roots and connection to the Earth itself. Even if you are in the busy streets of overcrowded city, you can inhale and exhale deeply, clear your mind and just immerse yourself into this occult natural experience, enjoying this peaceful spiritual healing. And then the magic of this relaxing music will slowly open its soul to show you more.

It’s not so easy to describe technically the music of Liholesie, all the instruments, all the arrangements create this special detached atmosphere, drifting away from stylistic complications and musical terms. There is a whole bunch of various ethnic musical instruments – rhythmic, brass, string, and altogether they create a multi-layered pattern of minimalistic art. There are no drastic mood changes or progressive parts, the songs harmoniously merge into one another, so no need to regard them as something separate. And that’s incredible, because the songs are so different, with such an individualistic approach. So, everything on Shamanic Twilight is about atmospheric perception and fusion with Nordic nature, but then there is another side, which consists of ceremonial darkness and tribal dancelike optimism. And with mysterious ritualistic allusions to the ancient times the last creation of Liholesie expressively leads into sacramental orgy to the very heart of the forest.

Some songs emanate the dark feelings, but some breathe out the positive mood. The ambient background on tracks “The Night after the Ritual” or “Gray Wings” leads into darker musical paths, even with some anxiety issues. But “Visions Quest” on the contrary, creates such optimistic thoughts, unveiling it with a childish lightness. The tribal and occult parts are the most primitive ones, but that’s absolutely normal, the ritualistic parts are responsible for trancelike background, which is constant on this album, but some compositions are painstakingly soaked in it (like on “From Roots to Branches” or “Flame in the Backwoods”). Every instrument is intricately entwined into the whole musical pattern – the jaw harp emphasizes the occult significance, the flute leads into melancholic wilderness, but the eastern Slavonic string instruments add some extra sadness into this holistic sacral musical journey.

Shamanic Twilight is expressive in its melancholic calmness and blazingly energetic in its ritualistic heartbeats, like you bath yourself in the sunrise and find your way back into the sunset, like the eternal alternation between ambient tranquility and ceremonial solemnity. And with minimalistic primitivism the music of Liholesie sounds and sounds from the northern forests of the past to our times and to the never-changing future.

Release date: June 4th, 2021

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