Another promising debut from a new band, coming from UK. They were formed in 2004 under the name Nifelhel by their one and only member Ben Corkhill and released their first demo “Call of the Gods” in 2005 and the second “Upon the Blood of Ymir” in 2006. Later on, Ben changed the band’s name into Oakenshield and in 2007 the demo “Gylfaginning” was out with 4 songs from the upcoming same titled album, that Einheit Produktionen just released.
The first thing worthy to mention is the really beautiful landscape on the cover of the cd, preparing you for something good! And the first impression is usually correct! Oakenshield’s music is Viking black metal, in mid epic tempo, with many folk Celtic elements and instruments. The compositions are very solid and interesting, unexpectedly good for a first release! The production is at a very satisfying level and the sound is very full: you couldn’t tell that it’s actually a one man’s band! The CD lasts for over one hour with 11 epic compositions that bring into mind great bands of the genre! Ben uses black metal vocals, as well as clean epic ones. His voice is fitting perfectly his music and he is a decent singer (unlike many others in this genre) especially in the clean or choir vocals that he uses on many refrains.
The scales and the tunes of “Gylfaginning”are based on Nordic folk melodies and the lyrics deal with Nordic tales. Many violins and other Celtic instruments help Oakenshield to create this excellent epic Viking atmosphere reminding of bands like Falkenbach or Windir at some times. If this is just the beginning I think we can see many things from this band in the future. A great recommendation for the fans of the genre. Even though it’s just one man’s band there is a great variety in the songs, a really full sound and above all inspiration and quality in music. Check for yourselves in the links below.
Originally published n HeavyMetalCosmos