It’s not that common to get pure Folk on our pages and German one-woman project CARVED IN STONE is one of those rare occasions. Michael had given the previous album “Hear The Voice” a very favourable review, so I was very interested in hearing what Swawa is offering her listeners. Now full-time part of Pagan Metallers TAUNUSHEIM, Swawa is concentrating on acoustic guitars, flute, some keyboards and her soft voice to create a calm and serene atmosphere.
“Abschied” (German for “Farewell”) sets the pace of the CD with its light keyboards, simple acoustic guitars and Swawa’s warm voice, pretty spartanic instrumentation, but very effective in its execution, this proves that you do not need a whole orchestra and intricate arrangements to get your point across, quite the contrary, sometimes the most basic of approaches works perfectly. Role-playing fans will love to have this playing in the background!
“Tales Of Glory & Tragedy” is one of those albums, which does not try to dazzle you, but take you away into a different world, a world, where people still wandered the country, worked the fields and did not care about potential technological evolution, rather concentrating on surviving than anything else. Of course the sparseness of the instrumentation might lead to some listeners feeling bored, as there is not that much variety to be found, but you should not approach something like this like that.
The lyrics come in German, English and what I think is Norwegian, sometimes sounding a little naïve (yet again this is something that comes with the time CARVED IN STONE is emulating, people were a lot simpler back then) and Swawa even takes on the 19th century poem “Die Ballade Von Einem Blinden Grubenpferd” (“The Ballad Of A Blind Mine-Horse”) for an authentic connection.
Surely “Tales Of Glory & Tragedy” will not be something for everybody, far from it, but if you feel like earth-bound, simple music that emanates a love for nature, then CARVED IN STONE’s third might very well be something for you.
(Online February 4, 2008)