Andrew King
The Amfortas Wound CD

The wound that would not heal, as featured in the tragic story of Amfortas, the legendary keeper of the Holy Grail, stands for eternal grief and symbolizes Andrew King's emotional state when recording this album. Music-wise, it is a beautiful collection of traditional English folk songs.

The songs on "The Amfortas Wound" have been recorded back in 1999, but have not been released until recently. This is Andrew King's second album and, like its predecessor "The Bitter Harvest", features songs from the rich heritage of traditional English folk music. Whether escapism or an almost academic interest lies behind the preference for traditional sources is not always clear, however the extensive liner notes on the musical sources and their regional and historical context suggest the latter.

Andrew has chosen sparsely instrumented arrangements to accompany his bard-like recitals. Sometimes drones or organ sounds fill the empty space in the background, but most of the time Andrew's voice dominates the recordings. That means: if you don't like his voice that is filled with pathos, you won't probably like this CD - even if you're interested in the lyrical content. On the other hand, the source material is of a melancholic nature throughout and thus clearly benefits from Andrew's style of expression.

"The Amfortas Wound" is a very emotional and tranquil album and demands a careful listener. While listening to the songs, why not have a look at the glossy digi-pack featuring some of Andrew's personal drawings or read the lyrics and travel back in time, into a world of religious symbolism, myths, and bitter-sweet murder ballads.

(rh 03/MMIV)

Label: Athanor

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Front cover painting by Andrew King