A weekly feature highlighting the best music from Pagan, Pagan – influenced, and occult artists. You can hear many of these artists on my weekly radio show and podcast, or you can check out the annual “Darker Shade of Pagan” music special available for download online.
Based in Portugal, Aenima began in 1997 by guitarist Rune (ex-Millennium) and singer Carmen (ex-Poetry of Shadows, ex-Isiphilon). Their shared philosophy of a higher aesthetic spirituality through music was the impetus for Aenima – a play on the Latin word anima meaning soul. As songwriters, the vision for the new band would beat a path laden with organic rhythms and more emotional textures, yet always flirting with the darker aspects of sound.
“While comparisons to other bands such as Dead Can Dance and Cocteau Twins are obvious in ways, those comparisons detract from the uniqueness of Aenima and become unfair. While such comparisons lead people to Aenima, they do not prepare the reader for the experience that awaits the listener. For every plea that emanates from the sadness that seeps through on this recording there is an inherent struggle to maintain and move on. The words are reflective of relationships that are cruelly torn asunder.” – MusicTap
“The music of Aenima can be described as a combination of gothic rock and ethereal wave. The heavenly female vocals…are an important trademark…Although various influences can be heard in their music, from ethereal 4AD acts to gothic rock/metal bands like The Gathering or Nightwish, Aenima possesses enough qualities to have a bright future ahead of them.” – Funprox
“[Aenima] maintains the freshness of a romantic and melancholic scenery, a green and mystical breeze that sourrounds the Aenima’s enchanting atmospheres … Aenima know how to pick up a binding heritage, catching the essence and renewing the inner meaning. By now, Aenima is a mature band with strong intuitions, standing with few rivals in their way.” – Twilight Zone
My Two Cents:
Mix the darkwave heritage of bands like Dead Can Dance and Cocteau Twins with the symphonic metalisms of bands like The Gathering and you end up with something very much approaching Aenima. The band focuses on the celestial and heavenly in sound, with lead singer Carmen (who has recently left the band and is now working with a new project Ava Inferi) bringing an almost operatic quality to the band. No doubt their legacy of quality music will continue with new lead singer Susana.
Interview with Aenima.