What was wrong with the music of Natural Snow Buildings, the French duo formed by Mehdi Ameziane and Solange Gularte? It was pure semi-psychedelic folk, slightly progressive, and with a pinch of ambient. They were one of those “weird bands making pleasant music”, and their compositions, if you listened to them a few times, had enough of their own personality to be tagged as “interesting”. So, I ask again: what was so wrong with Natural Snow Buildings' music that the two felt the need to get even more experimental? I've no idea. But the thing is, Ameziane formed TwinSisterMoon, and Gularte started Isengrind, and both are twin projects with the blood of Natural Snow Buildings running through their veins. So, fans of this kind of music, bring out the champagne, and let's not ask any more questions. You're into forest atmospheres, mysterious and decrepit night moods? Well here's to you.
“Night Of Raining Fire”, is like entering a secret shed that we’ve found behind an abandoned house (“Valeria Underground” would be the soundtrack to that metaphor). Inside, there are blizzards and icy panoramas (“Cygnus”), and Gularte manages to put some fear into us, making us feel alone like when we were kids and we got lost one time in the woods, and it was getting dark (“Lost Girls”). Isengrind's latest is a well-crafted album, one where she achieves what she wants and on top of that allows herself the luxury of experimenting almost like a child (for example with the tonal ascent on “Ascending”, or the Sigur Rósism of “Spine Of The Night”). There are some organic touches (on “Horselberg”, which could be some tribal song for dancing around the fire, and on “Lit By The Rain”, a little bit more melodic, with two or three chords over which minimal melodies flow) and ambient (“Nadirs Of The Sun”), but the overall feeling is one of mysterious malevolence, of menacing evil, of unknown nature. Pretty deep for an atmospheric folk album.