Five Lullabies from the Axis of Evil
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Note: A more complete recording of this project was released in 2004. See Lullabies from the Axis of Evil

Various Artists
5 Voggesanger fra Ondskapens Akse
(Five Lullabies from the Axis of Evil)

Kirkelig Kulturverksted - 2003 (

cd cover The way things are today, this is a daring and poignant recording. Daring, because the songs featured all come from countries that are in the headlines these days, usually in a negative way, all of them associated with pain and suffering. Poignant, because this is not about making a righteous stand: this is, first and foremost, a record of haunting music and a fusion of East and West of the utmost caliber.

Kari Bremnes from Norway, Eva Dahlgren from Sweden and Anisette (of the Savage Rose) from Denmark are the three Scandinavian singers. Amel Kthyer and Hela Bassan from Iraq, Rim Banna from Palestine and Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat from Iran are the singers from the East. Knut Reiersrud on guitars, bass and keyboards, Paolo Vinaccia on percussion, Audun Erlien on bass and keyboards and Ahmed Sleem on oud are the musicians.

As it can be seen from the instruments used, this is not a traditionalist record, but one that features reinterpretations of the tunes. This is done, however, with great respect to the spirit of the songs, the orchestration being sympathetic and attentive to the feelings expressed.

So, forget about rights and wrongs, dividing lines, preconceptions, enemies and friends, haves and have-nots. This is not a record about divisions or "I am holier than thou" attitudes. This is a record that uses music to do what music does best: express pure emotions, unite and make us feel and think. Although the pace is leisurely and the spirit melancholic, this is not a tortured record, but a soothing experience that uplifts and calms.

Apart from everything else, this record can be used as an easy introduction for people who are into pop or rock, inviting them into a larger world of music. Nevertheless, connoisseurs of traditional and Arabic music will still find a lot to like in it. A perfect background to winter nights, courtesy of the human beings from the Axis of Evil. - Nondas Kitsos

Note: this is a 5 track EP, the beginnings of a much more extensive project that hopefully will be completed later in 2004.

More audio samples and CD available at cdRoots

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