Fans of the dark pagan folk of Sol Invictus or Current 93 will already be familiar with the work of Ian Read. This early (1994) work from Read's own band is a charming and deceptive collection of Nordic and Germanic-inspired mystical folk music. Utilizing traditional songs from the old European traditions alongside his own songs, Read's often pastoral and acoustic offerings are often paeans to legend, wars, and the old gods. Without regard for modern culture, Fire + Ice are more concerned with the spiritual world and the preservation of the poeticism and existentialism of life.
A cover of the Irish traditional "Rising Of The Moon" is a memorable standout, as is Kipling's "The Old Grey Widowmaker". But Read's own songs complement these, exhibiting a delicate sensitivity and haunting sorrow, as well as a boldness and strength from within. A superb gem of an album, perhaps too obscure for some, but for those who choose to listen closely, there's much to take in here. (Tesco Distribution)
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