The second album from Awen, five years in the making, stands as a sonic dedication to the ties that bind this world to the spectral.
The album is rooted in the concept of the Grim Grey King, which forms a binding tie throughout with interpretations and translations of the opening poem featured in Swedish, German and Italian - cropping up like standing stones along the path of the listener's progress.
The 'King' of the album's namesake encompasses not only the sinister martial aspects of Woden, Gwyn ap Nudd and the endless Wild Hunt, but also the notion of a more abstract and cold custodian of the souls of melancholy lovers lost, their desperate palliations sought through suicide.
From dense percussion evocative of megalithic rites to the Arcadian chords of acoustic strings, the whole is tethered throughout by the howling tension of hungry ghosts and conducted by the commanding voice of Erin Powell.
'Grim King Of The Ghosts' is a synthesis of the ancient and the contemporary, with the heartfelt acoustic cover of "Seeker" by Fire + Ice and modern interpretations of traditional songs from the British Isles such as "Grim King Of The Ghosts", "Cradle Spell", and "Sons Of Exiles" shifting like glimpses through a stygian mist into the tonal terrors of "Grym Grå Kung", "Bitter Augur" and "Il Re Grigio Cupo".
This world and That, Then and Now, are One.
Featuring guests b9 InVid (Et Nihil / Luftwaffe), Gaya Donadio (ANTIchildLEAGUE / Six Comm), and Freya Aswynn (by virtue of a recorded personal rune reading for Erin Powell).
01. Grim Grey King
02. Tree Of Sacrifice
03. Grym Grå Kung
04. Humble Hempen Cord
05. Grimmigen Grauen König
06. Grim King Of The Ghosts
07. Bitter Augur
08. Il Re Grigio Cupo
10. Cradle Spell
11. Sons Of Exiles
12. Sacred Bones
released September 6, 2015
Erin Powell - vocals, lyrics, percussion, sampling, field recordings, scythe
Katrin Powell - vocals, percussion, psaltery, sickles
Eric K. - composition, keyboards, antique pump organ on "Grim King of the Ghosts"
Per Nilsson - vocals on "Grym Gråu Kong", sampling, production, engineer
Wes Radvansky - acoustic guitar, bass, Ebow
Ray Exile - production, engineer
Glenn Bailey - bagpipes
b9 InVid - vocals on "Seeker", guitar on "Seeker" and "Grim King of the Ghosts"
Gaya Donadio - vocals on "Il Re Grigio Cupo"
Freya Aswynn - guest appearance via rune reading on "Grimmvogel"