(Mythical Records, 2014)
The debut album of Rasplyn is a child of Chicago based Carolyn O’Neill, who has an impressive background in Classical music, composing material for various projects from video games to documentaries among other things. This album relies heavily on her personal voice, as well as her skills as a composer.
Her voice is strong, calm and etherial at the same time. From the beginning of the album skilfully created overlapping melodies of voices lead the listener to a world of quite (internally) visual Neoclassical orchestration, reminding me a bit of some of the nineties Cold Meat Industry releases, or the classic Dead Can Dance album “Within The Realm Of The Dying Sun” (yet not as dark) rather than something purely traditionally Classical, or at the other end something you’d find at a New Age bookstore. Carolyn’s background in Classical music and working with soundtracks can be heard clearly, as these are compositions of great quality and various emotions.
Musical and atmospheric themes of the songs range from Renaissance-like feelings to Oriental vibes (in a Lisa Gerrard kind of way), and also something Shamanic coming from the woods. The amount of instrument-sounds on the album is vast, and the productions is of very high quality, not to mention the performance of the music itself. Although the soundscapes feature mostly traditional Classical instruments (I’m especially digging the clarinets and the horns), they easily create numerous highly emotional and original scenes throughout the album. Each song contain compositions of such imaginative (yet quite calm) splendour, every person easily moved by music should feel at home here.
The track “Among The Stars” is a collaboration with the awesome Finnish Ambient-music maker Utu Lautturi, being perhaps a bit more psychedelic and experimental than the other songs.
This album is highly recommended to anyone into quality Neoclassical music or beautiful Vocal-music. In the world of Rasplyn, both are delightfully and admirably present.