Rota Fortunae
Hinterland


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sunnyvale STAFF
July 12th, 2021 | 37 replies


Release Date: 2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Instrumental dark folk, done just right

Rota Fortunae is a project creating quiet and reserved tunes (primarily acoustic guitar and cello driven) which are simultaneously rich and evocative. This combination, which is easy to aim for but hard to execute well, is the essence of the dark folk genre which Rota Fortunae can broadly be associated with. Hinterland is the first LP released under the moniker, following two EPs, 2016’s Vespers and 2018’s Solstice . Both were solid short releases, showing a developing artist carving out a space within the niche and crafting subtle but mysterious vibes. Ultimately, though, the brevity of their format held back Vespers and Solstice from being from anything greater. Hinterland brings the project to more expansive heights, although it must be said that by LP standards this remains on the short side (under thirty minutes in length), with none of the eight present tracks hitting the five minute mark. This relatively brief duration suits the album well, as the record manages to enhance the atmospheric scope previously harnessed by the two EPs, while still avoiding overstaying its welcome (which can often be a concern for mellow instrumental releases of this ilk).

As is frequently the case with top-notch releases within this genre, Hinterland is mood music par excellence. Spun under the wrong circumstances, this music may pass you by unscathed, but when the right time arrives it will feel like an epiphany. The song titles and sounds of Vespers and Solstice suggested themes of night and winter, respectively, while the namesake of Hinterland implies a concern with nature and a withdrawal from civilization. The songs presented here as universally soothing and mellow, but there’s an insidious tinge to the sound that (at times) approaches menace, fitting nicely with the present natural themes. As such, this album is well recommended as a soundtrack to a forest walk or even just sitting on a porch on a rainy day.

It’s not easy to pick out one song from another on Hinterland . Partly, this is due to the instrumental nature of the release, partly due to the all-consuming atmosphere which runs like a thread throughout the album from start to finish. That said, the guitar on the title track may get the listener’s fingers tapping, and the haunting closer “Pale Mountain” ends the album fittingly, providing a feeling of solitude and poignant loss which echoes long after the last note sounds. For the style, that is the definition of a rollicking success. Beyond that, one can only expect this whole album will sound even better in the autumn and winter, when this brand of music truly comes into its own.



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user ratings (42)
3.9
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
July 12th 2021


5973 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Shout out to user Divaman who asked me to do a writeup for this album. Rota Fortunae is a project of fellow Sputnik user DungeonBoy, this is definitely one of the finer Sput-user releases I've heard and absolutely deserves broader attention.





Sowing
Moderator
July 12th 2021


43997 Comments


Nice review
Is this like folk metal, or the kind of folk I'd enjoy?

Elynna
July 12th 2021


1444 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Imo the best sput-user project, and that says a lot with all the talented people on this site.



Great to see this record reviewed, since it deserves all the exposure it can get! I've been jamming this and Musk Ox's Inheritance almost obsessively lately to handle deadline stress.

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
July 12th 2021


5973 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Elynna!



Sowing, this is not folk metal, also not really the type of folk you usually listen to, but I think you might like it. This type of folk is pretty traditional European in style, it's often associated with the black metal scene due to some overlap in musicians and themes, but sonically very much not metal-sounding.

Divaman
July 12th 2021


16120 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review Sunnyvale, thanks so much. I haven't rated this LP yet, but I've really been enjoying it, and I don't always have the attention span to love an all-instrumental album. There are a number of things I really like about this LP, one of which is their use of the cello.

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
July 12th 2021


5973 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers Diva! Didn't talk much about the use of the guitar vs. cello, but both are used very tastefully and hits perfectly for the sound.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
July 12th 2021


27975 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you beat me to it again ;)



excellent writing as always! you can expect another dark folk review pretty soon..

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
July 12th 2021


5973 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Atari, appreciate it!



You're reviewing Musk Ox, I presume? I haven't checked it yet, but looking forward to it.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
July 12th 2021


27975 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good guess, haha. figured that would be pretty obvious



really glad you found the time to review this one though.. I had meant to and was still going to if nobody else did. definitely the best yet from Sputnik's very own

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
July 12th 2021


5973 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sweet, looking forward to your review!



And yes, happy to review it, definitely my favorite Rota Fortunae (so far) as well

Elynna
July 12th 2021


1444 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice Atari, should be a good one. Great soundoff on that album page btw. I had a good laugh.

DungeonBoy
July 12th 2021


9769 Comments


Thanks so much for reviewing this Sunnyvale! I appreciate you taking the time to write this up and I'm happy to hear you enjoyed it. I definitely wanted it to be short and sweet without dragging. Some "filler" tracks were cut out for the release and I really wanted to arrange it as one start-to-finish listen, so it's great to hear it came across in a cohesive way in the end.

Also, thanks to everyone who's given it a listen and shown support. You guys are all amazing


YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XllE-TGcjtUr

Bandcamp: https://rotafortunae.bandcamp.com/

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2zoXi3vdtOEG4ycQDPGKWp

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/rota-fortunae/1263548295


Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
July 12th 2021


5973 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers DungeonBoy! Definitely an impressive album and project in general, so thank you for the music!

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
July 13th 2021


32053 Comments


I couldn't put myself through a one-sit of the Musk Ox one, but I like a track or two here and there in between other stuff.

Definitely checking this though.

Nicely done Sunny!

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
July 13th 2021


5973 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Dewinged! Also, excellent dig you have there!

Storm In A Teacup
July 13th 2021


45877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Heard this a few days ago. Dragged some but still great

Storm In A Teacup
July 13th 2021


45877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh holy shit wtf this is dungeonboy?? Awesome!

Atari
Staff Reviewer
July 13th 2021


27975 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"I couldn't put myself through a one-sit of the Musk Ox one"



blasphemy

Pho3nix
July 13th 2021


1620 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A deserving review / feature ! :]



The two preceding EP's are excellent.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
July 13th 2021


32053 Comments


Lol Atari

It's a good album, but all songs sound very similar that's why I prefer it in little bits.

I heard the first two songs off this too, similar vibe? It was very nice too.



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