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Qumran - OUT OF PRINT
(Gor & Rajna) The Spirit Rises
Retrospective compilation covering the first 6 years of the band's existence, taking songs from all their albums, a couple of rarities, and 5 new tracks exclusive to this release. The royalties are to be donated to an organisation involved with building a school for Tibetan children. The music is a heady, darkly atmospheric combination of Eastern music, ambient, classical, choral, medieval, experimental, new age relaxation music, and occasionally heavy dance beats. There is also Division Alpha's remix of Buried Philae, combining operatic vocals with sinister 80s synth, dulcimer, spoken word and bombastic drumming.
Rajna are often compared to Dead Can Dance, and not without reason. DCD are clearly a major influence for Rajna; both bands have a dark take on world music/ancient music and use instruments such as dulcimer, and it's no coincidence that one of the tracks featured here is a cover of DCD's Cantara. However Rajna's approach strikes me as a little more abstract than DCD on many occasions, with a stronger emphasis on the ambient/overtly experimental side of things.
A recommended introduction to the creative, expressive and atmospheric music of Rajna.
Black Tears is essentially a retrospective of a wondrous career: the songs collected here cover the group's five album releases, five new songs recorded for this album, two rarities, and a special remix. The album is literally full of great music to get lost within. I can imagine no better way to get a taste of this often unrecognized project. Also, it behooves me to mention that the proceeds from this release go to a good cause: Rajna will donate their royalties to the building of a school for children in Tibet. 4 stars out of 5. - Jack Shear
Rajna is the husband/wife duo of Jeanne and Fabrice Lefebvre, with Jeanne handling the vocals and Fabrice doing all of the music and arrangements. The songs are gorgeously sweeping in every respect with plenty of percussive art and Gerrard-like vocals, which, is not attainable by just anybody; the vocal art alone sets Jeanne Lefebvre apart from just about any female counterpart in the world doing this rare type of music (who else can do this but DCD and Rajna.) With the beauty of ancient music from cultures long lost, Dark Tears provides to you, the listener, with music that commands more than one spin. It is a sampler of exoticism that hypnotically draws you in as it transports you through various timeframes and places long untouched.
In addition to the representative tracks, the new unreleased music recorded for this anthology include an edit and album track of the title name, “Black Tears,” several rare tracks uncovered and included (“Sien,” “Shushai”,) and the remix of “Buried Philae” that shows how far a song from Rajna can travel.
This anthology is a great set that will not only assuage your much needed DCD fix, but also unveil to you the only worthy successor to the crown that DCD fashioned. As a matter of fact, Rajna does DCD in “Cantara” from the latter’s Within The Realm of a Dying Sun (1987) as perfect as it gets. If you loved Dead Can Dance, you’ll be insane over the discovery of Rajna and Black Tears is the perfect introduction. 4 out of 5 stars. -Matt Rowe