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Annwyn, Beneath the Waves

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Album Review

Faith and the Muse stick with old-world traditional music for an enigmatic second album, Annwyn, Beneath the Waves. Playing with elements of neo-classical, experimental folk, and goth rock, Annwyn is vibrant with literary works spanning several centuries. Monica Richards' vocalic beauty is unreserved yet sometimes polite, but not unassuming when it comes to the music's spiritual life. Songs such as "The Silver Circle" and "Rise and Forget" blaze Richards' bold vocal textures of clinging dark visions of social interaction, and "Cernunnos," featuring William Faith, spirals with heavy gothic riffs for the album's hardest edge. Annwyn, however, does feel uneven. There overall composition isn't entirely tight regardless of Richards' vivid lyrical tales, and those too, allow a listener to get lost. It's charming, but a bit dragging. The Faith and the Muse compose something sophisticated and alluring, and Annwyn indicates the next phase of the band's career. It's a bit indulgent for a second record, similar to the abrasive Kate Bush album, The Dreaming. Monica Richards and William Faith will shape such dark ambience into something moving and inquisitive, but such grace takes time.

Biography

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

In spite of their limited lifespan and discography, the Faith were a seminal influence on the early emocore movement in Washington, D.C. For starters, nearly all of their membership moved on to either Embrace or Rites of Spring, by most accounts the first true emo bands. But even during their existence, the Faith's music hinted at what was to come, softening the standard-issue hardcore approach somewhat with better-developed melodies and a more inward-looking perspective. To be sure, it was high-energy,...
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Annwyn, Beneath the Waves, Faith
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