Collection: Dies Natalis Invicti Solis

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: Rudsambee
WORKS: Christmas and mid-winter songs from Europe and America
PERFORMER: Rudsambee
CATALOGUE NO: RUBEECD 001 (distr. tel 0131 620 0213)

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A quick mention for DIES NATALIS INVICTI SOUS, a debut disc from Rudsambee (an Edinburgh-based a cappella choir whose Gaelic name translates roughly as ‘anything goes’), if only because of the groups promise to reinstate a few old pagan values into the now predominantly Christian symbolism of the midwinter ritual.

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Sadly, the disc’s title song (Latin for ‘Birthday of the Undefeated Sun’) turns out to be only a tame contemporary carol, kitted out with doggerel verses of the kind you might find advertising a new brand of fruit bread (‘nutmeg and ginger, cinnamon, cloves, promise of sunshine baked into loaves’). Final score: Pagans 0, Christians 1998.