Origin: Austria
Genre: Experimental Folk Acoustic Melodic Black Metal
Label: Prophecy Productions
Year: 2014

Dornenreich is a band that needs no introduction. If you have listened to even one song from them, you can easily understand they are a whole music style on their own, beyond any typical genre categorization. This unique Austrian band was formed back in 1996 and released its first two albums, that were closer to avant-garde black metal, via CCP Records. After that they signed to Prophecy Productions and in 2001 released their 3rd album, the masterpiece “Her von Welken Nächten“, where the journey to experimentation actually began. Now, 18 years after their creation, Dornenreich return with their 8th full-length album “Freiheit“, released like their previous 5 albums via Prophecy.  

Freiheit” is a 100% Dornenreich album, with everything we loved (or hated) on them. Its 8 songs that last over 47 minutes are the finest example of the band’s characteristic passionate, emotional and very diverse music. The first 3 songs are totally acoustic and while you get yourself prepared for another acoustic album like 2008′s “In Luft Geritzt“, in the next couple of songs metal orchestrations and screaming vocals are back! It is one of the most diverse and multi-layered works of the band and when we are talking about such an experimental band as Dornenreich, this means a lot. Of course, like in all their recent works, it is the acoustic instruments (guitars and violins) and Eviga’s whispering vocals that clearly dominate their sound. Characterizing their music though simply as acoustic or neofolk, doesn’t actually says a lot about what they play, since there are countless influences in their sound, from classical music to neoclassical, ambient, even flamenco or ethnic world music and of course metal and extreme metal elements.

There is a unique theatrical atmosphere in their songs, accentuated by Eviga’s passionate vocals, the band’s trademark in my opinion. His vocals are very diverse in this album, and he is equally expressive in everything he sings, from whispers to black metal screams. There are so many changes of rhythm and mood in this album, whose atmosphere varies from a calm peaceful esoteric tranquility to an almost self-consuming anxiety! I suppose their music will be so much more complete for those who can understand German, since all their lyrics are in their native language. In such an emotional album, where it often has an almost “narrative” approach, lyrics should be of great importance. Anyway, in order to get a first idea of the lyrical aspect of the album, Eviga states that: “Freiheit is a concept album about the development of a human being from its undetached mode of existence towards an adult manchild’s conscious internal – and thus also external – freedom“…

Fans of Dornenreich better get your hands on ”Freiheit“, since it is a great album worthy of the band’s fame and quality. Furthermore it seems that the band will make quite a longer time to release a new work, entering a period of changes! “Freiheit” is released by Prophecy in 2 versions, a digipak edition with 16-page booklet and a 2CD book edition (hardcover, 48 pages, 18x18cm) with seven exclusive bonus tracks limited to 2.000 copies. You can visit their official pages for more info, or watch the album trailer below.


Rating:  (8,5/10)

Dornenreich official page
Dornenreich @ Facebook


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