Cover art for Dies Nox et Omnia. © Orchus

This review was written by Nemetona for Issue 3 of Wyldlings (the November 2013 edition of the Wyldwood Radio Newsletter)


Cover art for Dies Nox et Omnia. © Orchus

Cover art for Dies Nox et Omnia. © Orchus

Atmospheric, haunting and beautiful are just three words which can be used to describe an album such as this. From the first song, Prologue, you are entranced with the music which is weaved together beautifully with the vocals.

Moving into the rest of the album, Enuma Elish (named after the Babylonian creation story) is a beautiful mixture of traditional ‘folk’ instruments used in a way which I can only describe as Mediterranean. It has the feel of travel, of dance and of mystery. It is a wonderful song to introduce after the prologue and it follows beautifully.

Minnic Soe Stervic is another beautiful song. It is slower to start than some, but then kicks into a more nautical feeling with use of accordion and drums helping the sound. Of course, as the band itself is named after the mytholog-ical princess Cesair who sailed the oceans 5,000 years ago, it is not surprising that the album will have a nautical feel.

Graeica brings more haunting vocals, accompanied by a beautiful use of stringed instruments in conjunction with drums and the wonderful effect of male voice which is also noticed in the back-ground of more than one of the songs on the album.

One of the stand out tracks for me on the album is Mal Casada. Since listening to the album for the first time, this is one of the songs which is the most likely to get me dancing and swaying along, as it were. It has a real piratical feel, and is wonder-fully composed and put together. The use of instruments to bring out the nautical feel is excellent, and I especially like the violin ‘solo’ on the song.

The hammered dulcimer on Ishtar is such a perfect sound for this song. Being played throughout the song, this wonderful instrument helps to not only sound amazing, but also helps to keep the rhythm and feel going all the way through.

Du Som Har is another stand out song for me. Not for the same reasons as Mal Casada, but because of how delicate and enchanting the song truly is. You are swept away on the vocals and various very well chosen instruments, and it is a song you can really dance to with a loved one because of the tempo and ‘feel’ of the song. Flowing from the slower melody into the more upbeat Canso works extremely well. Yet another song with a very nautical feel which can certainly be danced along to.

The energy of this album is brilliant, with the up and down tempos reflecting the waves of the sea, yet still flowing along majestically until the very last note. It is an album I would love to be able to hear performed live, simply for the pure energy that the songs evoke.

The Mediterranean feel of Atiny Naya is simply perfect. The song is beautifully sewn together with the use of guitar, hurdy gurdy and drums as the main driving force behind the rhythm with the complimenting sounds of violin to accompany and make it a wonderful sound.

The title track, Dies, Nox et Omnia is extremely haunting. The sounds of the sea accompanied by the vocals simply makes the hairs on your arms stand up. The music blends into the haunting noises so perfectly, slowly coming in like the sea comes back to shore. The instrumental in the song is simply heaven to my ears. The song is classical yet folk at the same time. The instruments used by Cesair work extremely well together because of how they are used.

Ending with Y Gododdin, (a mediaeval Welsh poem) the album is, simply put, enchanting and haunting. It leaves you with the feeling of something amazingly epic and you just want to sit there for a moment and take it all in.

If I were simply given this album and I didn’t know anything about the band, I would be extremely surprised to find that it was in fact their debut album. Their love of music is evident, and the skill and talent found within the members of one of the newer additions to the Dutch folk scene is incredible. This album takes you on a breathtaking journey across seas, lands and cultures.


To find out more about Cesair and to buy the album, please visit: www.cesair.nl/