I've wanted to rec this band ever since I discovered this comm, and now I'm finally getting around to it. They're one of my favourite bands ever, and also seriously underappreciated. Omnia
is a self-described "neoceltic pagan folk" band based in the Netherlands whose members come from all over Europe. They originally started out trying to recreate the music of ancient Rome and Celtic tribes, but have since grown into a style that's more inspired by celtic music, rather than directly trying to recreate it. They still play quite a bit of instrumental music, though.
The band itself is fully self-managed and produces their albums under their own label, PaganScum Records. They have a strongly anti-government, anti-commercial, pagan, anarchic, free-spirit message which definitely translates into their lyrics. I find their blog posts to be just a bit extreme for me, sometimes, but I think even if you don't agree fully with their message you can still enjoy the music.
Omnia currently consists of five members. I say currently because in the past three years since I started actively following their blog their lineup has changed... oh, about seven times or so. The core of the group are Steve Sic and Jenny, who are also the ones who write the music. The range of instruments played by these two is quite impressive: at current count they have used the double flute, overtone flute, whistle, bouzouki, darbukka, dombek, mouth harp, seljefloit, kaval, shawm, davúl, cajon, Celtic tall harp, piano, hurdy gurdy, bodhrán, hammered dulcimer, guitar, as well as voice. And that's not even counting what the other band members play. They're also a really prolific band; they put out a new album about once a year, and by now have produced 14 albums. Some of their older albums are practically impossible to get a hold of, which is a shame because they are really beautiful and atmospheric.
Anyway, to the actual music! (I tried to stick to representative samples. It was... kind of difficult): Alive!
. I love this song so much. It's an amazing anthem for life. ( 5 more songs under the cut. )
There's a bunch of music you can download from their website if you sign up to their fanclub, including a live CD from the PaganFolk Fairy Ball 2008 - just go here
. You can also buy their music on their discography page
. Their newer music is on iTunes and Amazon (linked from their discography), as well as on Spotify, but I strongly urge you to get the actual physical albums, as the artwork is always amazing. Case in point - the artwork for their 2007 album "Alive!" was created by Alan Lee, the artist who designed a large part of the Lord of the Rings movie sets.