Medieval black metallers Darkenhöld have just released their second opus “Echoes from the Stone Keeper“. This French black metal trio was formed in 2008 and next year released two split albums, one with Naastrand and one with Fhoi Myore, both self released. In the end of 2010 their debut album “A Passage to the Towers” was out via Ancestrale Production. One year later, they contributed to the 4-way split “La Maisniee du Maufé – A Tribute to the Dark Age” with Ossuaire, Ysengrin and Aorlhac. After that, Darkenhöld signed with Those Opposed Records, in order to release their second full-length album in the end of 2012.
Darkenhöld get their inspiration from medieval themes and especially from the mystic charm of ancient castles and citadels. Their black metal has a melodic atmospheric approach, but it’s still black metal! Their guitars have both an epic rhythmic and the lead melodic role in their compositions, while the addition of acoustic guitars gives more depth their sound. They use keyboards too, mostly in order to help them build a dark melodic background, and rarely to carry the lead melodies. There are 10 songs in the album that lasts for 42 and a half minutes and each one is quite different than the others. There are some more melodic songs, others with an epic approach and of course some more straight forward black metal tracks. I admit I prefer the melodic neture of the band and luckily most of their compositions have various and different melodic elements. You can find symphonic atmospheric elements, epic acoustic passages, dark mystic ambient parts, or even a few Medieval folk touches, all of them as one with their sound. Cervantes vocals are typical black metal screams and without being too brutal they are still the most extreme element of their music. All of their lyrics are in English, based on Medieval legends and their love for castles…
“Echoes from the Stone Keeper” is a very good album, with a great production, totally recommended if you like black metal with atmospheric melodic Medieval elements. Darkenhöld released another quality work after “A Passage to the Towers” trying to add a more personal sound in their music. The album is released by Those Opposed Records in jewel case edition with 8-page booklet, while the beautiful cover painting is by Claudine Vrac. You can visit their official profiles below for sound samples from all of their works.