Rota Fortunae
Vespers


4.5
superb

Review

by bnelso55 USER (30 Reviews)
December 14th, 2016 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A concise, poignant respite

Time and again artists within the neofolk genre have harnessed the extended play format to stunning effect. The abbreviated presentation seems to only sharpen the impact of this particular brand of acoustic music. Had they been drawn out to a full-length’s runtime, Sonne Hagal’s Nidar or Agalloch’s The White EP simply may not have made the same emotional impression.

Sputnikmusic user DungeonBoy has taken history to heart and managed to accomplish a similar feat with his 2016 debut Vespers. Under the pseudonym Rota Fortunae, he has shared a sextet of stirring folk songs powered by arpeggiated acoustic guitar, pensive piano and winding strings, and replete with melodies that recall the masterworks of neofolk greats such as Nebelung and Musk Ox.

It’s been a long time coming, with some compositions waiting in the wings for 8 years. However, the lengthy gestation has proven healthy as every note feels carefully considered and purposefully placed. The music rarely overstays its welcome or withdraws too soon.

Thematic continuity is indeed the crowning attribute here. For nearly 20 minutes, a cedar-encircled ambiance lingers uninhibited. The trance never breaks. This trait may be best evidenced by the swelling segue of opener “Rebirth” into the descending melodies, nylon-stringed harmonics, and lowing cello of “Autumn’s Hymn”, but the transitions occurring within the songs also pay testament to the overall cohesiveness of this work.

While best experienced as a whole, the highest emotional peaks arise around the record’s midpoint, with the nostalgic refrain of “Dissolving Light” and the resonant nocturnal air of “Sanctum”. The closing minutes of the piano-driven finale “Repose” are also worth noting.

With this EP, DungeonBoy has offered an enthralling experience. Vespers establishes a world all its own and guides visitors through its inviting terrain along brambly paths illuminated by a steadily setting sun. Like a sojourn in the woods, this is a concise, poignant respite from the clamor of civilization that warrants many return visits.



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user ratings (16)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
bnelso55
December 14th 2016


1353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I’m a sucker for this sort of thing when it’s well-executed, so the rating average is a little low, in my opinion. This is a beautifully crafted EP. Check it out here: http://rotafortunae.bandcamp.com/

DungeonBoy
December 14th 2016


8184 Comments


I'm speechless. Your review is wonderful, and I appreciate you taking the time to write it.

bnelso55
December 15th 2016


1353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers! Glad to do it. Great work!

BallsToTheWall
December 15th 2016


50351 Comments


Sold. Checking now.

Digging: Ansome - Hounds of the Harbor

CaptainDooRight
December 15th 2016


4359 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

pos great review, I def enjoyed this

ButteryBiscuitBass
December 24th 2016


11454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great record bro. Excited to hear what you conjure up next!



DungeonBoy
August 31st 2017


8184 Comments


Someone made a nice YouTube compilation of Vespers earlier this year that I wanted to share.

https://youtu.be/GALuaMmkJe8

I'm currently tracking the guitars for an upcoming full length that will hopefully be out by the end of 2017, possibly early 2018.

ButteryBiscuitBass
September 2nd 2017


11454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome news man! Congrats!

lalchimiste
October 3rd 2018


1128 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Coming from the Solstice EP and they definitely share the same atmospheres and melodicism, a really nice fit with the weather right up here at the moment.

DungeonBoy
October 3rd 2018


8184 Comments


Thanks for taking the time to listen to this, man. It is more primitive than Solstice in its compositions, recording (SM57 on an acoustic?), and even playing to a degree. I still think it's a very Autumn album, the soundtrack to a setting sun in a way, but it is very personal to me as it was a culmination of a lot of ideas I had regarding the project and it gave me a starting point to work from. Cheers!

lalchimiste
November 22nd 2018


1128 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gave Vespers some listens since and really like it. It definitely feels that you already had cemented your own guitar playing style, especially the way rhythm and lead combine but also often play of each other in a very intricate way. The piano and field recordings on some tracks were a nice touch as well. Solstice feels like an expansion in terms of composition and execution, but Vespers imo carries the same spirit of escapism



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