Year of release: 2018
Released by: Dangus
Rating: 8 / 10
got acquainted with the Lithuanian project VĖLIŲ NAMAI thanks to the recent festival “Vosni rataniki III” in Minsk. The performance of VĖLIŲ NAMAI, along with PRAGNAVIT, was perhaps the most tenacious. Moreover, where PRAGNAVIT took theirs with the image, the Lithuanian acted with the music almost exclusively.
“Kúrir”, the stuff from which was mainly performed that evening in Minsk, turned out to be a very balanced and functional album that can be listened to both halfheartedly and completely immersed. The basis of most VĖLIŲ NAMAI compositions consists of three elements: the main part of the synthesizer, a semi-acoustic guitar and an electronic rhythm section, most often including only bass. Thanks to this, the basis of the music of the project is very solid. It is clearly traced. Perhaps that’s why VĖLIŲ NAMAI was liked even by my wife, who does not like ambient music because of the large amount of “water”. But the Lithuanian does not allow the listener's attention to slip away. The main motive of each composition somehow cuts into the mind, and more extensive atmospheric sketches serve as a complement. However, they cannot be called an “appendage” in any way, because exactly what happens behind the leading musical line is the most interesting. “Kúrir” is a dedication to Curonians, which, in the words of a press release, will show the way to the tops of the highest mountains, where the listener will be able to pay tribute and respect to the ancestors of modern Lithuanians, receiving in return a piece of their strength. According to my impressions, the leading melodies on the album are those mentioned mountain paths, and everything else is communication with the spirits. If you start to listen to the music for real, with your ears and mind, among the layers of ambient you can distinguish amazing images...
From a technical point of view, VĖLIŲ NAMAI is the right representative of the Baltic pagan scene, combining sources of inspiration dating back to antiquity with quite modern music. As I wrote in the review of double CD compilation from Dangus,Lithuanian pagan spirituality does not need a “rebirth”, as it never died. Music like VĖLIŲ NAMAI, mostly created and played on a macbook, actively using electronic samples, is almost identical in spirit to the work of traditional folk ensembles in authentic outfits. This is not a fucking HEILUNG circus.
There are a couple of unconditional hits on the album - “Vėlinių Laužai” and “Nordens Vrede”. These are the most rhythmic and memorable things, but in general the material as a whole is quite versatile. Along the way, there is a tendency to some softening: if the first half of the album is kept in a very dark mood, then later the music becomes more atmospheric and melodic. However, a clear aura of northern freshness and purity is inherent in the entire album as a whole. I’ll also note that “Kúrir” is a lonely trip to the top. When listening, it is keenly felt that for kilometers around there is not a single human being, and this is good.
The album was released in a 6-panel digipack format with relevant natural motifs and ornaments. Inside you can find brief information on everything you need to know about the album. There are no texts, although there are several recitations on “Kúrir”. In this case, everything is clear anyway. You can take a closer look on a video. in the video. It remains to recommend the album to fans of a moderately mobile and not too overloaded, but deep contemporary ambient / neofolk / dark folk / whatever genre this is.