“Metanoia” means an initiation, a rebirth, an awakening of the higher self, and the rekindling of an inner flame. Hungarian duo The Moon and the Nightspirit’s brand of folk and world music is a representation of this state.

This isn’t folk music in its simplest sense. This is an evocative series of sounds, which conjure up visions of magical woods. The sounds are both gentle and powerful as flutes mix with drums and create a mystical aura. Floaty and haunting vocals add to the mystique. It’s all like a mediaeval fantasy dream world with comforting gentle rhythms and ambient fantasy scenes. There is always the suggestion of melancholy, and sometimes, as happens on “Mysterion Mega”, this sensation is reinforced with haunting instrumentals. I hear similarities with the lighter and traditional side of fellow Hungarian artist Thy Catafalque, and those numerous Finnish artists whose world is in nature and in the woods. But this has a classical edge, and in the case of “Kilenc Hid” (Nine Bridges), a tribal side. The flutes whistle vicariously as if in the wind. The lightness of rhythmic touch of “A Feny Diadala” (The Triumph of Light) develops into a mediaeval Celtic-type sound. The progression is not only mystical but beautiful. The lady’s voice matches the haunting beauty. The sounds are like gentle raindrops.

As the album progresses along its calm and dreamy path, I hear the sounds of the dulcimer, the violin, woodwind instruments and other traditional instruments I couldn’t name, but my research tells me that The Moon and the Nightspirit use an old Mongolian bowed stringed instrument called a morin khuur, and a kalimba, a traditional African instrument. All the time we are hypnotised by the gentle rhythms and relaxing songs, which fill our senses in the nicest possible way. The lady’s voice floats on too of the already ethereal “Krystalymezoek”. “Hen Panta Einai (Minden Egy)” has a sinister tone, progressing like a pendulum before the drums, guitar and other instruments create a fuller sound. The lady’s voice floats and haunts, and there is the mystique of the East in the flute, but to an exotic rhythm gentle darkness descends. We are captured in this mystical web. The wave of what sounds like a didgeridoo passes as the gentle sound of the piano meets with the lady’s whispering voice in one last image.

This is The Moon and the Nightspirit’s sixth album. “Metanoia” is ambient. What is impressive is that every note and vocal sound has impact. It is spooky at times, but it is in perfect harmony. “Metanoia” is relaxing and dreamy. It represents a higher plane.

(9/10 Andrew Doherty)