Dreams like fairy tales can be good or bad and “Hour of the Wolf” by Anastasia Minster, through songs and atmosphere, attempts to quantify the shadows and demons that surround us and, in consequence, becomes something of a concept album.
Now, extemporisations around the fables of the soul are hardly new for Mélanie De Biasio, as an example, has made a career out of the seasoning jazz with chanson to similar spiritual effect yet there is something purer, perhaps even innocent, about Anastasia Minster’s approach. The sun may not shine in her bewitched universe but neither is this album the bleak experience that you might expect.
The atmosphere is certainly ethereal with her sympathetic accompaniment moving sinuously as if part of the sound track to some arthouse movie from the east end of Europe while Ms. Minster, for her part seems sometimes youthfully uncertain, sometimes confident yet always allowing the notes to breathe with “When I Die”, in particular becoming almost transcendental.
That makes Ms. Minster a young talent with the scope to develop into a swan and I would expect her voice to grow less reflective and more dramatic with the passing of time. Her album “Hour of the Wolf”, therefore, seems something of an anachronism in these days of the quick buck as it tells a story that does not yet have an ending.
The album is available for download from Bandcamp and other digital outlets.