Sent in trade to me a million years ago by Aaron Moore of Volcano The Bear (so hello and thanks, if you're out there...), this somehow managed to get overlooked by me 'til now, but as artifacts of the deeply inscrutable go, this one's proved to be right up there with the all timers. According to their Last.FM page, and I quote "The Köyhät Ritarit (Poor Knights) have specialised (sic) in the dramatic performance of ancient Finnish and European vocal music to the accompaniment of instruments. Their repertoire also includes commissioned modern secular and church music.", but that bit of info in no way prepares you for the onslaught of utter bizarreness that ensues here. Yes, for something about a Finnish "Bear Feast" one might expect some primal grunting from the dark forests, but the combination of moan 'n' groan ritualistic improv, lilting acid folk and abrasive group shout-at-thons right out of the playbook of Mieskuoro Huutajat (the Finnish screaming men's choir) is truly a singular achievement and offers an equally interesting window into how this material might have influenced Volcano The Bear's own arsenal of ritualistic improv maneuvers. Alas, resisting the impulse to share the pic of them resplendent in the finest bathing gear from their Last.FM page proved futile, so, er…behold that too.
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