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The Moon and the Nightspirit's Neofolk Odyssey 'Metanoia' Brings Hungarian Folklore to Life

Stream the ethereal new album from the long-running Hungarian neofolk duo (out March 17 via Prophecy Productions)

by Kim Kelly
Mar 16 2017, 7:18pm

Hungarian folk duo The Moon and the Nightspirit are exactly the kind of artists that makes Prophecy Productions' label roster so interesting, nestled as they are alongside a wide variety of black metal, shoegaze, psychedelic, doom, and folk metal artists. Their presence makes total sense there, but also sets them apart as a sort of oddball pagan folk palate cleanser for when harsh cries, adventurous song structures, and blastbeats don't quite suit. The duo—which is comprised of multi-instrumentalists Ágnes Tóth and Mihály Szabó—has been floating around since 2003, initially drawing inspiration from neofolk godheads like Dead Can Dance and Tenhi, but working to craft a unique sound all their own that's equal parts world music and neofolk. 

They accomplish the latter by focusing lyrically on Hungarian legends and folklore, and placing a heavy emphasis on traditional folk instruments like the jaw harp, Mongolian morin khuur, didgeridoo, and the Slovak shepherds pipe fujara as well as culling influences from goth and medieval music. The end result? An intriguing twist on mystical neofolk, steered by unorthodox percussion, Tóth's silvery vocals, and a wick of melancholia running throughout. It's the sort of music that asks you to close your eyes and really listen—otherwise, you run the risk of missing out on a multitude of tiny nuances and instrumental embellishments.

The band commented, "With Metanoia, our goal was to break free from the barriers of musical genres and 'boxes' and therefore our approach was much more experimental and free this time. We intended to redefine ourselves while keeping our own sound, letting in all kind of musical inspirations from classical, and shamanistic to modern and psychedelic. Metanoia means: returning to the pristine and pure path of crystalline existence. This returning is an initiation, that is akin to death, in the meantime it is also a birth. The ancient traditions call it rebirth, the awakening of the higher self, the rekindling of the inner flame. The music, the lyrics and Agnes's paintings reflect this kind of transcendental and spiritual approach as well."

Listen to below—it's out March 17 via Prophecy Productions, and you can preorder it right here, right now..

Kim Kelly is feeling hella mystical on Twitter.