The Sacred Oak is the third album by electro-acoustic Neo-Medieval artist Mauerbrecher after almost a decade of hiatus. Whilst largely abandoning the band's previous gimmicky breakbeat-and-bagpipe sound, The Sacred Oak is no less dynamic than its predecessors. This album turns up the notch on the reverb-heavy soundscapes that Mauerbrecher is known for, especially by making heavy use of acoustic backing drone instruments such as harmonium and shruti box. The emphasis is still on melody, albeit with a meditative aspect that goes surprisingly well with the album's Medieval tinge.
The Sacred Oak is an exploration of Druidic and Shamanic themes of nature, rebirth, eroticism and intoxication. At times stately and pompous, at times quirky and humorous, at times dark and melancholy, all tunes on this album are catchy and eminently melodic.
For this release, Mauerbrecher is:
Rane Rørdam Knudsen: synths, vocals, percussion, shruti box, harmonium, auto harp
Martine Lilith Camille Dupont: vocals on Midsummer Morning and The Sacred Roots of Men
Mareridt Shazard: vocals on The Sacred Oak
Nattali Liv Bellevies: vocals on The Sacred Oak
Concept & Design: Mauerbrecher
01. The Labyrinth
02. Branle de la Torche
03. Cathérine de Coutiers
04. Branle de Provence
05. The Faithful Shepherd
07. Rude Mechanicals
08. Fairytale Forest
09. The Shaman's Picnic
10. Dancing Fairies
11. The Sacred Roots of Men
12. Midsummer Morning
13. Trail of the Ancients
14. The Sacred Oak
All tracks composed by Rane Knudsen, except: Branle de la Torche by Michael Prætorius (1571-1621), probably derived from an older French tune; Branle de Provence, French traditional from – yes, you guessed it – Provence; Dancing Fairies, which is a medley of two Irish traditional tunes, King of the Fairies and Morrison's Jig. The Faithful Shepherd by Nicolas Chédeville (1705-82), originally entitled Il pastor fido.
Mastering: Ant Banister, Mantravision Productions
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