CD Review – ‘Dies, Nox et Omnia’ by Cesair

Rating: 5/5 stars (and then some!)

Genre: Epic Folk

Review: I’d liked what I’d seen of Cesair, I’d followed the previews of their album with excitement, I saw them at Castlefest and loved what I saw but nothing could have prepared me for actually listening to their album.

It’s rare that you have a CD that is perfect. Even among those favourite CDs there’s always one song that’s just not quite right or there’s some issue with the order of the tracks or the pacing or even the cover. Perfection is an ideal, not a reality, after all. Of course, the exception proves the rule and ‘Dies, Nox et Omnia’ is, dare I say it, the exception.
I cannot find one thing wrong with this album. I can’t even find one bit that doesn’t feel quite right and I’ve thought hard about it because, to write about something and just say “it’s great” isn’t the best way to go about anything.
I think that the greatest strength of this C.D. is the fact that it works as a whole as opposed to a bunch of songs put together onto one disk. Going further than a concept album, it sounds like an opera whereby all the songs base around the same musical themes for unity yet are individual and unique. That said, there are extreme contrasts in sound too from lullaby like tunes to chant like pieces to songs that just make you want to dance. Somehow this album has managed to contain a diverse range of songs yet remain unified. Not only this but there are parts, like the introduction to ‘Bergatrollets Friari’, that might not stand up to criticism if listening to the song on its own but which really add to the atmosphere and the pacing of the C.D. as a whole.
The individual songs are stunning in their own right. It’s very difficult to pick out one or two songs as ‘better’ than the others, and they all have a 5* rating on my iTunes which drives me mad, but I will attempt to discuss a couple that particularly stand out to me as I write. ‘Du Som Har’ has a simplicity to it, musically, yet is hauntingly beautiful. ‘Canso’ the track following it couldn’t be more different really, being a rhythm driven tune, yet it manages to set off the preceding number rather than sound out of place. However, I guess, ‘Atiny Naya’ will forever remain my favourite for so many reasons and, of course, because it was the first song I heard by this band, a purely personal point, and because the variations between the sections in this song are stunning. I’m not even going to try and discuss the power and the beauty of the music as a whole because to do so would rather undermine it. There are seriously some things that shouldn’t be said and should just be left to the music.
It’s also worth commenting upon the album cover itself. For practicality, I tend to download if given a choice as I abuse my C.D.s terribly (I call it love) and also simply don’t have enough room. However, this is one disk that I would urge people to buy physically, although you don’t have a choice right now as I don’t believe Cesair are offering a download. The cover art is stunning, as is the booklet. The text contained within the booklet itself also offers insight into the inspiration for each song even for those of us who might be a bit linguistically challenged!
I guess that’s the beauty of this C.D., not only does it contain beautiful music but no aspect of the experience has been overlooked. I’m sure the musicians themselves have plenty of pernickety annoyances with aspects because the creator always notices these faults but, as a listener, it seems that everything is (dare I say it?) perfect.
To listen to samples of music from the album, and also to buy it click here.

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