NACHTGESCHREI – Am Rande der Welt

NACHTGESCHREI – Am Rande der Welt








Origin: Germany
Genre: Folk Metal
Label: Massacre Records
Year: 2009

This is the second work from folk metallers Nachtgeschrei, after their debut “Hoffnungsschimmer” in 2008. This German band (that consists of 7 members) was formed in 2006 and they managed to sign a contract with Massacre Records that released both their works so far.         Read more

Posted in Reviews

VIHMANA – Templo

VIHMANA – Templo








Origin: Spain
Genre: Folk Death Metal
Label: Nooirax Producciones
Year: 2009

Another new solo project band, this time coming from Spain. Nacho Hernadez (also in La Dolorosa) is the man behind Vihmana, an ethnic folk death metal band he formed in 2007. “Templo” is his first effort, that is something between an EP and full-length, since it lasts for almost 30 minutes.

From the first moments of the CD it’s obvious that we have to deal with a very special band. Vihmana create an ethnic, eastern, almost ritual atmosphere, with many traditional instruments and unusual melodies combined with death metal elements. I have to admit that in the beginning I was somehow disappointed, finding this effort very bizarre, especially the “marriage” of folk instruments with an “un-melodic” rhythmic death metal riffing. After many listenings though, this impression changed dramatically! This contradiction between the mystic oriental acoustic melodies and the dry death metal sound, works in favor of the overall atmosphere. Vocals are a mixture of death growls and clean ethnic singing and lyrics deal with mythology, mysticism and esoterism, all in Spanish. Synths have a very important role in this album, since except for the folk samples, they are used as the background of Vihmana’s melodies, or even take the lead role in some songs. There are also some guest musicians in this album for bass, cello, bagpipes and flute that enrich the sound of “Templo”. The production is at a very satisfying level for a first attempt and every instrument is very clearly heard.

The CD comes with a very artistic booklet, illustrated by Nacho Hernadez himself, who proves he is an excellent graphic designer too! Summing up “Templo” is a very promising debut for fans of ethnic folk death metal. I believe that they need a small improvement in the melodic lines of their guitars, as well as in the clean vocals and they are able for great things. You can listen to some of their songs in their myspace page.

dimiarch

Rating:  (8/10)

Links:
Vihmana @ Myspace

Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos

Posted in Reviews

THULR – The Seafarer (Demo)

THULR – The Seafarer








Origin: Germany
Genre: Epic Black Metal Folk Acoustic
Label: Self Released
Year: 2009

Thulr is the solo project of Morten from Germany, who is also in Eldborg and contributes in Folkearth. Thulr were formed in 2002 and it was two years later when their first demo “Forsitesland” was released. So now, five years later Morten returns with his new work “The Seafarer” a full-length demo.

Thulr play epic black metal with many acoustic and melodic elements. Compared to their first demo everything is improved. The production is very good and I believe this album could easily stand as a debut instead of demo… Anyway, Morten does a very good job both in the sound of his band and in the compositions of his songs. His music is mid tempo melodic black metal with a very epic and melancholic atmosphere. There are 6 long songs and 3 shorter acoustic neo-folk “ballads” with total album duration of 53 minutes. Thulr offer us the same quality both on the black metal songs and in the acoustic ones and the result is very tight… He uses black metal singing most of the time, but there are also many amazing clean vocals, at which I think he is better. His sound is enriched often by enchanting violins that add a sad nostalgic mood to the album. The lyrics of “The Seafarer” are inspired by myths and poems of the Anglo-Saxon age (like the same-titled poem), dealing with life, nature and legends….

Overall I believe “The Seafarer” is a very decent effort and Thulr are ready in my opinion for their first official release. This demo comes in a handmade A5 digipak with a 20-page booklet! You can visit band’s myspace both for listening to the music and to contact Morten if you want to get the demo.

dimiarch

Rating:  (9/10)

Links:
Thulr @ Myspace

Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos

Posted in Reviews

SIEGHETNAR – Bewußtseinserweiterung

SIEGHETNAR – Bewußtseinserweiterung








Origin: Germany
Genre: Ambient Black Metal
Label: Azermedoth Records
Year: 2008

Sieghetnar is a very mysterious band from Germany with very little “official” info about them. They were founded in 2005 by an unknown number of members (I have the feeling though that it’s just one man’s project) and they have released many albums since 2006. In 2008 they had 5 (!!!) releases and “Bewußtseinserweiterung” is one of them.

Theoretically their music belongs to the black metal genre, but all of the songs are only instrumental with many drone, ambient and post-rock references. In this album there are only four songs, one 2-minute intro, 2 songs over 10 minutes each and the last one is over 30 minutes. Their music isn’t extreme at all. It is very atmospheric, dark and depressive, with an excellent sense of sad melody. Their songs are mid tempo, with guitars and keyboards having equal importance in their compositions. There aren’t real drums and the production is just average, but nothing more is needed in this genre… There are many ambient parts in the songs, where the band shows a more mystical face, and parts when guitars become dominant. And there it is where I’d like to listen to some “liberating” black metal screaming! But I don’t . Anyway their music is very good and the final result hypnotizes the listener to a dark, slow and pleasant “torture”…

All Sieghetnar releases are more than decent and you can find many of them in various web-shops or local stores. In some of them there are also black metal vocals, but “Bewußtseinserweiterung” belongs to their more tranquil releases. So if you like this kind of ambient, drone, instrumental black metal, don’t hesitate. If you visit their label’s “audio” section you can listen to their music: http://www.azermedoth.com/audio.htm

dimiarch

Rating:  (9/10)

Links:
-

Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos

Posted in Reviews

ULVER – Vargnatt

ULVER – Vargnatt








Origin: Norway
Genre: Black Metal Folk Acoustic
Label: Kyrck Productions
Year: 2009

Well, the “Vargnatt” demo is finally out in official re-mastered CD version, 16 years after its first release! Greek label Kyrck Productions got the rights and re-released it in a limited to 1000 copies CD version. Except for the normal version, “Vargnatt” is also released in an even more limited A5 leather-book edition.

Reviewing this album is actually pointless. The main purpose of the review is to inform for this re-release. Ulver is one of the greatest and most unique bands, with an almost impossible to describe music. Even though “Vargnatt” was released back in 1993, it has a great variety in its music styles. Raw black metal, acoustic songs in vein of “Kveldssanger”, avant-garde parts (with totally out of tune operatic vocals), jazz, rock and gothic influences, are all put together in a very primitive and direct approach. Of course, compared to their future releases, this album is of much lower quality, but it’s the first sign of what’s to come. Full of inspiration, original ideas (much more “front” from their time) and an admiring will to experiment!

This EP contains six tracks, with duration of almost 29 minutes. Since it is the first time released on CD and it’s relatively limited (compared to the “name” of the band) you should hurry and get a copy before it’s gone (especially the beautiful leather-book edition!). Except for Ulver, Kyrck Productions got the rights for other rare re-releases from many bands, including Manes, Order of the Ebon Hand, Strid, Ved Buens Ende, again both jewel cases and A5 leather-books…

dimiarch

Rating:  (9/10)

Links:
http://jester-records.com/ulver/ulver.html
Ulver @ Facebook
Ulver @ Myspace

Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos

Posted in Reviews

MARTOLEA – Gâlmele Întunericului

MARTOLEA - Gâlmele Întunericului








Origin: Romania
Genre: Folk Black Metal Pagan Metal
Label: Self Released
Year: 2009

Sometimes there are bands that I can tell I will like just from the first tunes I listen from them. This definitely happened with this new underground one-man band from Romania. So, after getting this self-released EP in my hands I was glad to see that the first impression was correct.

Marțolea is the personal project of Alin Drimus, who also contributed pipe parts in Negura Bunget’s masterpiece “OM”. His music is pagan folk black metal, but not the typical one… First of all, in this album there is no black metal singing at all and there are only few very deep clean male vocals. So, it’s almost an instrumental album. The guitars on the other hand have the characteristic sound of pagan melodic black metal with frozen melancholic melodies coming out right from the Carpathian forests. Marțolea got their name from a demonic entity in Romanian mythology. Each of the five songs in “Gâlmele Întunericului” refers to a different evil night creature of the local folklore that lurks in the deep forests of Bucovina (region on the northeastern Carpathian Mountains).

What is very different and special in this work is the use of traditional Romanian acoustic instruments, most of them very rare. Pipes (fluier), caval, bucium and mouth-harp (dramba) are all used by shepherds in different Romanian places and isolated villages. Marțolea recorded all of them in the Carpathian Mountains, in order to sound authentic and as natural as possible. These instruments are really unique having a very sorrowful sound, being haunted by time! Some of them sound like the howling of the wind especially on the second song “Muma Pădurii” (I’ve never listened to such a creepy instrument before!!). Alin has done an excellent work in the combination of his black metal riffing with these instruments, which actually have the leading role in the melodies. Speaking about melodies, Marțolea have composed five brilliant songs with really unusual and enchanting folk melodies; a soundtrack for the Carpathian forests’ folklore life. Since the end and the beginning of each track are not very clear, the whole album sounds like a big song that, unluckily, lasts only for 19 minutes. The production isn’t the best (after all it’s an underground release) but it’s the perfect for this music.

I really would like to listen more stuff from this great band and I hope they will release something more complete in the future. For me another great pagan metal band from Romania (after Negura Bunget and Bucovina) has just arrived. I just hope they will stay. If you are interested in this unique folk metal sound just visit their myspace page to listen to all 5 songs of their amazing EP.

dimiarch

Rating:  (9/10)

Links:
http://www.martolea.com
Marțolea @ Myspace

Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos

Posted in Reviews

KERBENOK – O

KERBENOK – O








Origin: Germany
Genre: Pagan Black Metal
Label: Northern Silence Productions
Year: 2008

This is the first full-length album by Kerbenok, a remarkable new band from Germany that was formed back in 2000. After their decent mini CD “Der Erde Entwachsen (Gewollte Wunden)” in 2007 that was re-released in 2008 by Northern Silence, they return with a quality pagan black metal album, a real hidden gem!

Behind Kerbenok are Stefan and Christopher, accompanied by many session members in “O”. They composed a long album (lasting more than 71 mins) with very ambitious intentions. Their music has many different styles mixed together in a controversial way, both professional and underground at the same time. It’s somehow difficult to explain; their sound is definitely primitive and natural, without any “polished” production, but it also reveals great maturity, skills and experience. Raw pagan black metal, atmospheric rock, acoustic guitars, flutes, ambient passages, black metal screams, clean male and female vocals are combined fluently and with great dexterity. It is really impressive how they move from one style to another and how good they are at everything! Unlike other overloaded albums, where musicians try to play everything just to impress, in Kerbenok’s music it comes very natural, like an honest expression of very diverse feelings and emotions. Even though their songs are very complex, they sound simple at the same time and they never tire the listener.

The compositions are totally unpredictable, with many changes both in rhythm, intensity and atmosphere and most of them quite long. They never become too fast or extreme and they create a unique pagan, ritualistic at some parts music. There are some great melodies in the guitars and the refrains, but in general this isn’t an easy to listen album. It belongs to the works that reveal more and more things each time you listen to them, something that in my opinion separates quality music from “easy and catchy” songs without any depth. Their lyrics are in German and they show their love and respect to nature and its wisdom, to the circle of life and immortality of the soul. And they have managed to dress these themes with amazing music, which will “win” you from the moment you let yourself in its beauty… If I have to chose one song that would be the closing track “…in das was Noch Kommen Mag.” with the amazing female vocals…

This album is released by Northern Silence both in normal jewel case version and in a limited to 1000 copies A5 digipak. Since I have the digipak, I can tell that it has incredible artwork! Both the cover illustrations and the works inside the booklet are of high artistic aesthetics. I totally recommend this version, but since artwork itself isn’t enough reason to get this CD, you can take a taste of Kerbenok in their myspace page.

dimiarch

Rating:  (9/10)

Links:
http://www.kerbenok.net
Kerbenok @ Myspace

Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos

Posted in Reviews

ARTEP – Black War (Demo)

ARTEP – Black War








Origin: Canada
Genre: Black Metal Symphonic Black Metal
Label: Self Released
Year: 2008

Artep is a Canadian black metal band formed in 2005. After their first demo “Fires of Mortal Deception” in 2007, where they played raw black metal with some symphonic elements, they return this November with a new 3-song promo “Black War”. This promo actually works as a “prelude” to their upcoming album “Thy Will be Done on Earth As is Done in Hell”.

This new promo contains one old and two new songs and it has a very nice cover painting… The sound of the band is impressively improved and the symphonic elements much more dominant. There are some line-up changes since the only remaining member is the founder of the band Petra (Artep). She begun the band as a solo project, but it seems that she has finally found a complete line-up, with Vultyrous and Dark. Their music is symphonic black metal with a very good production (mastered by Andy LaRocque!!). There are some extreme parts where fast raw black metal has the leading role and others when soundtrack-type keyboards dominate with very dark melodies. You can find many interesting ideas in the songs with some excellent melodies and the only think I’d like to see in the future is a better “merge” of the two genres (black metal and symphonic music).

I am looking forward to their full-length album, since the band sounds quite original and they have a great improvement (in my opinion) since last year. By the way (for those who care) all of Artep’s members breath fire and their shows are very impressive. Let’s hope they find a label that will distribute their works worldwide. Till then you can visit their official pages below.

dimiarch

Rating:  (8/10)

Links:
Artep @ Myspace
Artep @ Facebook

Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos

Posted in Reviews