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Wednesday, December 10, 2014
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I am quite crazy about J.R.R. Tolkien’s material, and then I am referring to much more than the Lord Of The Rings or The Hobbit books alone. Also the former eras are pretty interesting, if not even more, yet they are sadly underestimated. But around our little globe, there are many (human) beings that know something about the older stories. Such one is Portuguese duo Nienör, named after Niënor, the daughter of Húrin and Morwen, and sister of Urwen and Túrin aka Turambar. It’s quite a tragic story, Narn I Chîn Húrin, aka The Children Of Húrin, but oh so fabulous…

But… we’re on Concreteweb right now, so this review won’t deal with some highlights from history’s literature, but with aural stuff; the question remains: will it be a highlight too, but that will follow in the next paragraph. Right now I will let you know why I had this introduction. Actually, the Portuguese two-man project Nienör consists of two brothers, Diogo and Francisco Ferreira, aka Túrin and Turambar respectively. So there is the link in between this project and an undeniable fabulous part of Tolkien’s grandiose phantasy.

Actually, these guys recorded some songs throughout the past years, and they did put three of them on their Bandcamp-page. Two new pieces were written and recorded, and Nienör decided to have these two new ones and the three older ones compiled on EP, gathered under the banner of Nienör.

This EP does not last long, since the average duration of the compositions clocks around three minutes. It’s some kind of emotive (Neo) Folk, mainly based on acoustic guitars and, believe it or not, saxophone. But I do not exaggerate if I say that this combination turns out to be pretty effective. Besides, these brothers’ approach isn’t that evident. At the one hand, the acoustic guitar riffs are extremely predictable, and then I am referring to the ‘heard-it-a-thousand-times-before’-feeling that I got. But several times, there are sudden things that are not usual at all. That’s clear as from the instrumental opening song O Infortúnio De Nienör, with those crazy breaks. A Elevação De Túrin is more epic, but once again minimal acoustic riffing gets coloured by sax-leads. With Cleaned At Last, there are vocals involved too, i.e. clean chanting that, unfortunately, lack of power, and with some false notes too. Húrin Sentenciado (Epilogo) is a short intermezzo with nothing but a simple melody on an electric guitar. The EP ends with a cover of the song Which Side Are You On, which is a pretty old piece, performed throughout the past century by e.g. Natalie Merchant or Pete Seeger, though some of you might know the Dropkick Murphys-version.

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