This review appeared in Plague Haus webzine
Written by J.
Hau Ruck! : 2010
Format : Digipak CD
It’s amazing to think this duo has actually been playing and recording since 1969. Those of you into neofolk, but unfamiliar with Robert N. Taylor and Nicholas Tesluk should remedy that straight away. Although, slapping that “neo” on the type of Folk these gentlemen play is almost an insult. This is, and always has been, the real deal. These gentlemen were busting it out in coffee houses and smoky clubs before most of the current crop were a gleam in their daddy’s eye. And don’t confuse what’s going on here with some hippie nonsense. Taylor especially has long been a political activist and one of the founders of Ásatrú in North America as well as a poet.
From interviews I’ve heard and things I’ve read, both men went through divorces recently and that heart-wrenching quality makes itself known throughout the whole of the album. From the mournful keyboard intro instrumental “Sorrow” to the closing notes of “The End of the Road”, the duo wears their grief for all to see like a Purple Heart in this war we call relationships. The combination of Taylor’s rich baritone voice and the magnificent acoustic guitar from Tesluk, from gentle strums to fast as flamenco, is one of those musical pairings that just fits perfectly. There are a few guest appearances as well. Jane Elizabeth of record label Tesco USA actually contributes some backing vocals to the guitar and flute filled “Sweet Eve” and Albin Julius’ Der Blutharsch does a wonderful reworking of “Mountains Of Sorrow”. And scattered throughout the album are poetry pieces read by Taylor himself.
This is an incredible record, but I won’t lie, it’s not something you want to drop on while sitting around bullshitting with friends. This is a deeply personal piece that demands your full attention and makes me a little sad each time I listen. But it’s a beautiful sadness and one I welcome as I lie beneath the shadow of its outstretched wings. Packaged in digipak format with a 16 page booklet. Mandatory.