In the rich realm of psychedelic dark folk, Nero Kane emerges as a luminous figure sweaving twilight tales. His music is often painted as dreamlike, marked by a distinctive elegance and gravitas. When beheld live, Kane’s melodic rites possess an almost otherworldly allure—both shamanistic in their trance-inducing cadence and radiant in their fervour.
Walking alongside Kane in this ethereal domain is the multifaceted visual artist, filmmaker, and chanteuse, Samantha Stella. Together, their artistic confluence gave birth to albums such as “Tales of Faith and Lunacy” and the subsequent “Of Knowledge and Revelation.” The latter, inspired by the dichotomies of Dante’s celestial and infernal realms, was heralded by Subsound Records. Its acclaim reached a peak in 2022, as critics, both Italian and international, recognized its brilliance among the year’s paramount musical works.
Kane’s compositions, a heady blend of Italian Occult Psychedelia, pagan incantations, and liturgical undertones guide the listener on a shadowy, pared-down psychedelic journey across vast expanses. Picture a desolate dreamscape, languorously revealing itself within sacred confines. Each of Kane’s entrancing ballads resounds with the cadence of a horse’s trot across sun-drenched plains, where ephemeral visages of saintly women shimmer both under the scorching midday sun and the cool embrace of twilight.
Not merely content with this evocation, Kane’s lyrics seem to tap directly into the transcendent; notably, they feature verses from Mechthild Von Magdeburg, the celebrated thirteenth-century Christian mystic. The album is punctuated with readings that have an unmistakably gospel resonance, culminating in a powerful zenith of organ and string harmonies. One can also discern the lingering influences of legendary acts such as Swans, Nick Cave, Velvet Underground, and Johnny Cash. Further, the chilling ambiance of the Swedish Cold Meat Industry sound makes its presence felt. Above all, Stella’s vocals possess an evocative resonance, reminiscent of Nico—a comparison many have been quick to draw.
In a captivating visual and auditory experience, a video session captures a selection from Nero Kane’s latest album, Of Knowledge and Revelation. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the neo-Gothic ruins of Kirchenruine Wachau near Leipzig, Germany, Kane on guitar and vocals, and Samantha Stella on organ, mellotron, and vocals, breathe life into their haunting tracks.
This immersive recording took place during the inaugural Ancient Echoes: A Spectral Folk Gathering in the Ruins on July 8th, 2023.
The event, orchestrated by Swansea Concerts, served as a convergence point for luminaries of the dark folk genre. The line-up sparkled with international talents including Darkher, Jonathan Hultén, Nero Kane himself, A. S. Fanning, Carcass of Sighs, and An Eagle in Your Mind. The ambiance of the ruined church and the rich, spectral sounds of these artists together crafted a night of unparalleled musical reverence.
“Of Knowledge and Revelation marks a new path in my constant spiritual pilgrimage through darkness, fog and light,” says Kane. “A journey made of solitude, of rise and fall, in a world that recalls Dante’s Limbo. I love feeding myself with visions, literature and painting in particular. Inspirations came from old paintings like “Ascent of the Blessed” (1490) by Hieronymus Bosch, engravings like Dante’s “Divina Commedia” (1861) by Gustave Dorè, and writings like “Tears and Saints” (1937) by Emil M. Cioran, “Hymns to the Night” (1800) by Novalis and “The Flowing Light of the Godhead” (1250-1270) by German mystic Mechthild Von Magdeburg.”
Listen below, to and order Of Knowledge and Revelation here:
The duo is currently prepping for the Nero Kane Temples Tour, where Nero Kane and Samantha Stella will perform in festivals, clubs and churches, locations particularly suited to the themes and atmosphere of this kind of music. In the first Italian date they will support the intimate piano concert of the dark priestess Zola Jesus. More shows to be announced soon.
- October 1, 2023 Santeria Toscana 31, Milano (IT) supporting Zola Jesus
- October 13, 2023 Raindogs House, Savona (IT) w/ The Mon
- October 27, 2023 Ex Tenebris Lux Festival, Chapelle de la Maison des Choeurs, Montpellier (FR)
- November 3, 2023 Arci Progresso, Firenze (IT) w/ Naresh Ran
- November 17, 2023 Glitch, Rome (IT) w/ Bosco Sacro
- November 18, 2023 Circolo Dong, Macerata (IT) w/ Bosco Sacro
- December 9, 2023 Temple Protestant, Toulon (FR)
- December 10, 2023 Setmana Santa Festival, Eglise du Gesù, Toulouse (FR)
- January 13, 2024 Altherax, Nice (FR) w/ Martyn Whore
- May 17-18, 2024 Sonic Rites Festival, Aäniwalli, Helsinki (FI)
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