Fire and Ice
Gilded By The Sun


4.0
excellent

Review

by Meatplow USER (111 Reviews)
March 19th, 2010 | 21 replies | 6,420 views


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Albion, how fine your trees stand gilded by the sun.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Ian Read started his musical career with a guest spot on Current 93's 1988 album Swastikas For Goddy, providing a unaccompanied vocal performance to opening track Benediction and closer Malediction that was not completely unlike C93 frontman David Tibet's strongly pronounced pommie accent. In fact, if there is one thing that can be claimed of many of the artists that belonged to the slew of musicians that made up the scattered origins of the British neofolk scene (Douglas P. of Death In June, Tony Wakeford of Sol Invictus), apart from the distinctive love it or hate it “mad minstrel” vocals of Tibet none of them could really sing in the traditional sense and share something of a British “layman appeal”, despite the often pretentious lyrics they all had the quality of folk musicians doing it out of love despite lacking a technical ability to sing. Read would go on to work with Death In June and form Sol Invictus along with Tony Wakeford, leaving later to pursue his own project with Fire + Ice in 1991.

The heartlessness of the modern commercial consumer society ruins the lives of many. FIRE + ICE takes the purity and philosophy of early music and melds it into a message redolent with powerful seeds of honour, truth, loyalty and the bond of true friendship.” – a description from Read's official website

Gilded By The Sun was his debut album released in 1992, starting off the project which reflects “Read's keen interests in magic lore, runes, tradition, renaissance medievalism, Nordic mysticism and other esoteric and occult mysteries.*”. The lyrical content is centered around these concepts, of which Read has described the writing process as so -

I write songs whenever they come into my head. I write them in about ten to fifteen minutes, I write them as fast as a pen can move so there's no conscious thought involved.

Read has never considered himself a musician as such, in interviews he has often discussed that his role in the Rune-Gild and esoteric spiritual studies have always been of much more importance to him. Despite this the musical side of Gilded By The Sun is very pretty in a restrained sort of way, strummed acoustic guitars provide most of the background template with the occasional dip into ambient and even a slight post-punk influence becoming apparent as the album moves on. The Horseman's Word opens the albums with a reverb laden chant, whilst Long Lankin sets the scene of what the rest of the album sounds like with its hypnotic lyrics -

"Said the lord to his lady as he mounted his horse
Beware of long lankin who lives in the moss
Said the lord to Milady as he went on his way
Beware of long lankin who lives in the hay
"

Corprus Christi starts with a gloomy bassline, with gorgeous clean guitars it seems to marry the best of a post punk influence with traditional folk music. This influence isn't as fully pronounced as it is on Fire Above however, which features burning distortion and a simple rhythm that carries it to a wonderful plateau that makes it more distinctly rock then just about anything else in the British neofolk canon. Ljosalfar has a simple ambient opening, with strings and keyboard that sound very pretty making it apparent that is small musical sections like this that make the album what it is such as the wind instrument sections in Sir John Barleycorn and Basilisk Abode. Ian Read's voice and lyrical content sits comfortably here, and whilst they may not be to the taste of everyone it is a suitable accompaniment to the morose, subtle nature of the music which seems to be aiming for a kind of nostalgic medieval appeal.

Gilded By The Sun is a superb debut from Fire + Ice, as someone who doesn't consider himself a musician as such it would appear to capture a very specific period in Read's life and beliefs which he has translated well into music with a group of likeminded souls to assist him. The late 80's and early 90's period was a very exciting time for neofolk, and the small band of british artists that popularised it overseas to Europe and elsewhere wouldn't be quite the same without the involvement of this man. Later albums such as Hollow Ways, Midwinter Fires, Runa (which was Read's meisterwork for his Rune-Gild) and Birdking would all be exceptional releases and an improvement in many ways up until the point Read would seem to have completely retired from music in the late 90's, but with its leanings towards 80's post-punk and traditional folk nostalgia there is something distinct here which makes Gilded By The Sun unique.



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user ratings (4)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Meatplow
March 19th 2010



5524 Comments


[img]http://i43.tinypic.com/fck3va.jpg[/img]

Album art always made me lol, idk.

I love this release, it is perhaps an acquired taste though.

Piglet
March 19th 2010



4644 Comments


I wonder if this is like LIFE IS LIFE!!!

Meatplow
March 19th 2010



5524 Comments


You know, most things aren't like Laibach.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 19th 2010



30294 Comments


I don't know what's more creepy; the artwork for this album, or the fact that it'll probably wind up as your next avatar

Digging: L'Orange - The Orchid Days

Meatplow
March 19th 2010



5524 Comments


I had a gif a while back that gradually zoomed in on his face as my avatar, actually.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 19th 2010



30294 Comments


I remember it now that you mention it, truly doesn't surprise me at all. I'm partial to a bit of Death By June, so I might have to look into this. Or at the very least stream a couple of vids

Meatplow
March 19th 2010



5524 Comments


As far as I remember there is no Fire + Ice on youtube.

I have at least a couple of albums up on my blog, though. Most are out of print and fairly difficult to find, took me a bit of a struggle to get them all.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 19th 2010



30294 Comments


iamsurroundedbyincompetence right?

Meatplow
March 19th 2010



5524 Comments


yeah

search this or runa on blogsearch

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 19th 2010



30294 Comments


I'll take a gander

Meatplow
March 19th 2010



5524 Comments


Excellent

OllieS
March 19th 2010



2024 Comments


I lol'd when I realised the guy on the album art is the actual artist.

Brokenjewel
March 19th 2010



1247 Comments


This is a great review. Sounds like something I might like.

Meatplow
March 19th 2010



5524 Comments


let me know if you check it out and like it

I lol'd when I realised the guy on the album art is the actual artist.


The guy has some pretty funny photos.

I have the impression he feels his farts don't stink though

Poet
March 19th 2010



5910 Comments


I wonder if this is like LIFE IS LIFE!!!

Still like the greatest song ever.

Meatplow
March 19th 2010



5524 Comments


I agree!

This is nothing like Laibach though, I think Piglet just likes making fun of me

EnricoPalazzo
March 19th 2010



626 Comments


That picture is arousing and terrifying, Meat.

Meatplow
March 19th 2010



5524 Comments


do you dare mock a man of the rune-gild?

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 19th 2010



30294 Comments


Listened to a couple of tracks, they weren't half bad. Might have to seek this out in the future

Zeek
March 19th 2010



83 Comments


haha i challenge you to my gilded cunt



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