Following their debut US concerts in 2005, Corvus Corax has been popping up on US magazine covers, TV shows, movie soundtracks and more. With the release of "Venus Vina Musica," 2006 promises more of the US falling sway t... more »o the mesmerizing tribal medieval rock style of this eight piece band of German minstrels. If you?re thinking of chamber music from old guys in suits, think again! An abundance of attitude accompanies a plenitude of pipes and a plethora of percussion. Hand-made, historically researched instruments and authentic medieval songs are invigorated with an aggressive performance style that brings people to their feet and keeps them there. "Venus Vina Musica" features 12 brand new songs in the trademark tribal-medieval style of Corvus Corax.« less
Following their debut US concerts in 2005, Corvus Corax has been popping up on US magazine covers, TV shows, movie soundtracks and more. With the release of "Venus Vina Musica," 2006 promises more of the US falling sway to the mesmerizing tribal medieval rock style of this eight piece band of German minstrels. If you?re thinking of chamber music from old guys in suits, think again! An abundance of attitude accompanies a plenitude of pipes and a plethora of percussion. Hand-made, historically researched instruments and authentic medieval songs are invigorated with an aggressive performance style that brings people to their feet and keeps them there. "Venus Vina Musica" features 12 brand new songs in the trademark tribal-medieval style of Corvus Corax.
Corvus Corax: It's Not Just for Germans Anymore...
Spibbles | the frozen tundra | 07/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just tonight realized by visiting their website that Corvus Corax had released a new album; after screaming out loud and hyperventilating for several minutes, I collected my wits and rushed here to Amazon.com, and, lo and behold, I COULD BUY IT HERE! And not pay $18 shipping from Amazon.de!
I then proceeded to scream and hyperventilate further. And buy the new album.
I'm listening to the high-quality sound samples from their new album on their own website right now, and it's everything I hoped it would be. I discovered Corvus Corax, what is often described as a "German Medieval band", last year, on the eve of their debut US appearance at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Festival. I happened to be looking up reference photos for ravens ("Corvus Corax" is the latin name for the common raven) and came across their website instead. I listened to the sound samples I found there, fell madly in love with the music, and since then I've willingly paid an arm and a leg to have seven of their albums shipped across the Atlantic to me here in the US. I even had to buy one twice, because I played, transported, jostled and scratched it so much it became unreadable by my CD player.
If you're new to Corvus Corax and wondering what their music is like, the best I can do for you is to direct you to their own website, corvuscorax.de, where they have wonderful sound samples from all of their albums. The next best thing I can do for you is to suggest that their music is something like you might expect to hear on the soundtrack of a movie like...well, any movie that would take place in medieval Germany (not surprisingly, I suppose, no such movies spring readily to mind). Call it ethnic, call it tribal, call it medieval...just don't call it ordinary.
I haven't been able to find any comparable German bands that tickle my fancy like Corvus Corax does; the closes thing to them that I like are the Scandinavian bands Hedningarna and Garmarna, although Corvus Corax uses a lot of bagpipes, which you don't hear in either Hedningarna or Garmarna.
As their website indicates, this album seems to take a bit of a different tact than their previous efforts: the instrumentation and overall flavor of the music seems more worldly, or at least less eurocentric and with more of an eastern flavor. Veteran fans won't be disappointed, and the uninitiated should find this album as appropriate a place as any other to begin their voyage into the world of Corvus Corax."
Big, Loud, Acrobatic, Silly, Black Birds: You'll want to dan
M. Mierzwa | Davis, CA USA | 10/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"About the Band: Corvus Corax, whos name means raven, is a German medieval ensemble of seven formed in the late 1980s and true to their namesake, which are known for their loud and deep caw and elaborate mating acrobatics, the band is known for its live performances of loud, emotional, and powerful street music! Band members are skilled experts in a variety of dated instruments, including: various bagpipes (yes, there are actually numerous different types), various shawms, bells, assorted drums, the ceng-cengs and other cymbals, the cittern (an old stringed instrument), the ever lovable fiddle, the gangu or "dragon drum" used for talking to the dead, the krack krack (a Moroccan instrument), etc. I'd be remiss if I didn't add that some of the tracks also feature the oldest instrument of all - the human voice. I think you get the idea ... basically they take various instruments from around the world that predate the institutionalization of music, and create emotional and energetic music designed for common people.
About the Album: Venus Vina Musica follows in the footsteps of their Best of Corvus Corax album, which was major success after being released in the United States in April 2005. If you've not listened to their Best of album, please check out that item as well. Venus Vina Musica could easily be a best of album in its own right. Featuring 52 minutes of 12 full-length tracks, the album is everything we have come to expect from Corvus Corax and more. What is nice is that two guest musicians join our crazy ravens, including Oliver Sa Tyr of Faun who plays a Celtic Harp and Jordon Finus as another bagpipe player. I personally enjoyed the tracks that also featured vocals.
I bought this album without listening to it, solely based on other songs I've come to love from them, and they've continued to show musical growth with this latest release. Unfortunately you can not currently sample the tracks on Venus Vina Musica here on amazon, but you can try visiting their homepage (corvuscorax.de) to listen to samples - though their page requires flash and is slow on my dialup, it is so worth visiting in its own right - they explain in English all of their instruments.
Recommended Tracks: - Lamentatio Coelibatus - Qui Nous Demaine (which features a Celtic Harp) - Bibit Aleum - Katrinka (the fiddle piece) - Scotus
I'll add that if you enjoy percussive world music, such as what is offered on this album, then you actually might also enjoy Bear McCreary's Battlestar Galactica soundtracks which also incorporate similar elements (though produced in a studio, whereas Corvus Corax are best experienced live). Also if you happen to really enjoy medieval music and be in Germany, then buy any "Miroque" compilation you might find. Mittelalter musik is thriving in Germany, but like the period it hails to, it tends to focus on local artists whom are not as prolific and hence there is plenty of amazing music that tends to be a bit harder to find.
Similar Artists: - Schelmish - Faun - Estampie - In Extremo - Qntal - Irfan - Vas - Moon Far Away (you'll probably have to order this Russian band from their French label Prikosnovenie)"
metalgoddess | Greenbrae, CA United States | 08/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"oh my f@#%^ing God!!!!! On that note, this German based band only gets better with time. It was definitely a refreshing experience to hear their earlier work when I did, as there are not many bands trying to break into the mainstream with this bands' unique style. However, Corvus Corax are not so ambigious as to dismay the innocent on-looker. This is truly a masterpiece that any music lover would enjoy to behold. To describe them consicely--- Latin chanting mixed with Scottish bagpipes and heavy Egyptian drumming. Scared yet??? Don't be. This is one hell of a breathtaking album, to say the least. High power, meditative, catchy, carefully arranged; i haven't heard anything this good since Karl Sanders from NIle put out his solo album. Excellent, excellent album all around.
Recommended for Corvus Corax fans
M. Mix | US East Coast | 01/04/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a good album for Corvus Corax fans. It has a nice mixture of serene ballads, male chorus, driving drum beats, wailing bagpipes, and manic energy. The other CD I have of their "Best of.." which, obviously I liked enough to get another. They do a great job of bringing medieval music to life. Really good for keeping a pace while exercising. Other groups I like are Estampie, Qntal, Flook, Kings Singers."