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World Music CD Reviews North American

Felonious Bosch

By Tom Jackson
Published April 3, 2007

New Dark Ages

This ragtag outfit of medievalist Minnesota mavericks manage to mix up Eastern European folk tunes, arcane instrumentation and goth lyrics to distinctive, if not earth-shattering effect. Although their name suggests the listener may be in for a trip through the Garden of Earthly Delights ’round midnight, to that extent they disappoint (and who wouldn’t). Still, they do manage to conjure a certain slinky Orientalism in their melodies, which is underlined by Scott Nieman’s bouzouki and Drew Millers’ dulcimer. Once you get beyond the magical mumbo-jumbo of the lyrics (if it’s Harry Potter you want, head to the bookstore) they deliver a whey-faced hoedown, complete with clattering beer bottles. The band has sufficient nerve to cover Black Sabbath, delivering a gentle reading of “Behind the Wall of Sleep,” while their take on the Albanian traditional instrumental “Valle” will leave most listeners coming out of the experience with smiles on their faces.