Steeped in myth and mystery, Ainur dedicates their creative prowess to the musical reality of JRR Tolkien’s world view, focused on the musical transposition of his works. From the hands of 3 mutitalented composers, this Progressive Rock Orchestra has a common passion that makes them a band, and that guides them throughout the music world. Since that time they have amassed 5 albums to date that harness an orchestral style of writing, amalgamating classical instrumentation with modern electric. Embracing various genres, they often explore different styles and genres to recreate the mythological and cosmic ensemble of Tolkien himself, with a set of concept albums dedicated to The Silmarillion.
Although dedicated to Tolkien’s world, they reach out to many different genres to colour the storyboard and add to the drama both Live or in the studio with music making the connection stronger.
Based in Italy, Ainur first came to light in 2004 when some of their early formation took part in a Tolkienian Literary Club, realizing their mutual understanding and love of Tolkien and music was one and the same, they found themselves literally reading off the same page, and henceforth work started in making this fantasy a reality, not only for themselves, but for their learned Legend.

Very much a family of good friends first before a band, members all grew up together with the same common passion and spend a great amount of time together.
This strength in friendship later served them well within the band, with a greater understanding of one another, and although from different musical paths, this multifaceded and eclectic range of inspiration only added to a richer tapestry within their compositions, taking them through Rock, Prog, Metal, Folk, Classical and Pop, with artists such as Ayreon, Queen, Frank Zappa, John Williams, Dream Theater, Transatlantic, Eagles, Crosby Stills and Nash, Marillion, Europe and many others mixing everything into one big Opus.

Performing annually at the Great Fantasy events on the Italian and European scene, they have had the pleasure of sharing stages with Euthymia, Vurtula, Ossi Duri, La Stanza di Greta and Folkstone with a spectacular line-up that consists of-

Luca Catalano – Composer, Guitars, Vocals, Marco Catalano – Composer, Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Alex Armuschio, Composer, Keyboards-Vocals, Massimiliano Clara : Vocals, Roberta Malerba – Vocals, Elena Richetta – Vocals, Giuseppe Ferrante – Bass,

Luca Marangoni – Violin, Carlo Perillo – Viola, Daniela Lorusso – Cello, Chiara Marangoni – French Horn, Vocals,

Cristiano Blasi – Flute and Wilma Collo as their lyricist.

In a recent interview I asked Alex what drives them as a band, he told me;

“The main aim of Ainur is to transpose into music all the tales included in The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien. So that’s the first thing that push us up when we are tired or when we waver, but we have a job and we must complete that”

So I went on to ask what the meaning was behind the band name, he explained

“Ainur is a word invented by Tolkien. Ainur are something like Angels in Tolkienian Mythology, but only a simplification.

In the first chapter of The Silmarillion, Tolkien told that Ainur created the world together with Iluvatar using the music.

Since we want to put all these stories into music, Ainur seemed to us the perfect name for this project”.

I followed this up by asking what they have learnt about themselves on their journey so far in the music industry, he went on to tell me;

“The best thing we learnt is that you must not take your life lightly and that every second counts like it could be the last one.

We want to enjoy every moment we spend together”.

With such a large line-up, I asked Alex about their songwriting process and how they would overcome any creative blocks,

he went on to tell me;

“We have 3 main composers. When one of us writes a song, they send it to the others to get 3 different angles in listening and composing. Then we work together with the melody when our poet Wilma sends us the lyrics. We then arrange the songs with a mutual agreement. As for creative blocks, they come when you dont need them. You just have to accept and understand why they come. When you have unraveled the skin, creative blocks will go away effortlessly”.

I followed this up by asking the Alex if they have the same persona on and off stage, they told me;

“Not at all, we are all ourselves and let the music do that for us”.

Finally, I asked Alex what they enjoy most about the band and if there was anything they wished they had known before starting their career in music, he went on to say;

“I love the complicity and the goliardic moments when we are together before the shows and the family moments in the non-music occasions like barbeques, birthdays and everything else. I also love our music a lot and mostly I love the fact that we are realizing our dream step by step, there are some moments during the live when I always start to cry, even after 17 years. Yes, the weight of the keyboards. I envy our flautist Cristiano. Apart from that no, I’m so happy not to have known anything so everything is a surprise, also the bad things. It’s the game of life, isn’t it”.

And that brings me nicely to the album in question here War Of The Jewels.

With a perfect prelude to the album to set the mood and prepare you for what lies within, each following track takes you on a fantastical journey through the realms of fantasy, fiction and depth of thought, beautifully sculpted to lift the heart, mind and soul and trigger your thought processes to a whole other level.
Progressively proficient, echoing Mediaeval and Celtic moods, that are interwoven within the very fabric of this album, Ainur introduces you to Classical music driven by Rock and fuelled by the Electronic age.

Each track leaps forth with enough anthemic prominence sending the dynamics skyward.

Perfectly enunciated, each vocal delivers a warm, colourful glow, packing a punch where needed, and creating a smorgasbord of ambient textures that are rich in polyphonic prowess.

If not familiar with the works of Tolkien, shame on you, as their attention to detail here almost conducts this masterpiece as if using his pen as a baton.

Star Rating – 10/10

Star Suggestion-

If ever there were five tracks to tempt the listener into buying this album they would be-
“Wars Of Beleriand”, “Hell Of Iron”, “Kingslaying (The First)”, “Grinding Ice” and “Spirit Of Fire”.

To close, I asked Alex if there was anything they wanted our readers to know, they wrapped things up by telling me;

“War Of The Jewels will be released on March 19th, but the project won’t end there as we have a very long road to run yet, so

keep following us for everything on the links below”.

So why not clear a space in your collection and give Ainur a try for 2021.


                                                                                                               © Stargazer Music Magazine 2020

Feel free to share the above article via social media, however, please read the following;

The copyright in this article and all artwork are owned by Stargazer Music Magazine.

Be aware that the rights to all photography are owned by the photographer and likewise with any artwork by relevant artists. All rights of the owner of the work produced reserved. Unauthorized copying, hiring, lending, screen shots and reposting of sections of said article without permission is completely prohibited and stands in a court of law.