Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Herbst - I: Prolog (J)

I came across this band a few weeks ago on M-A and I pretty much searched day in and day out until I finally got my hands on a copy of I: Prolog today. Needless to say, this cd is absolutely wonderful and original.

The cd is pretty much comprised of neo-folk and black metal, leaning more towards neo-folk, hence the genrefication on the main page: "Neo-folk Black Metal." For once, along with the band Dormant, I fully agree with said statement. The first two tracks, Aufbruch & Reise, both rather short, are gentle acoustic guitar driven neo-folk songs with vocals ranging from the almost operatic to even black metal rasps for variation. The third track, Endzeit, then precedes to kick you in the face with blasting, nostalgic, sad black metal. His vocals are almost a howl; very powerful and fucking LOUD, a real plus. The drum programming can be a little tedious at times, it's the same thing throughout the song, but the songwriting and the vocals make up for the lacking in the percussion department.

Der Weg brings us back to neofolk with a new twist, he plays piano! The piano adds on a lot of atmosphere and is almost reminiscent of Tenhi with the jazz-like drumming in the background. Nice and calm; a break from the last track. Almost making the cd a dream with recurring nightmares that are then overcome by the dream yet again.

Am Bachlein is yet again another neofolk song, but more drawn out. There are some dissonant parts in here that build up into an almost, I want to say, epic neofolk song, which is awesome. The other folk songs on this disc should be as drawn out and built up as this one.

The last song, which does not have a title, is a midpaced depressive black metal piece. When I say depressive black metal, I don't mean that monotonous shit like Xasthur and Leviathan, I mean it is just profoundly sad. The longest track on the cd, Untitled has a chance to build into it's full form, which is absolutely wonderful. I won't go too much into detail, because I want people to experience this firsthand and not expect what is going to happen.

Overall, this is a very good cd, though I think it lacks an identity. Yes, it is neofolk, and yes, it is black metal, but there isn't really much of a mix of the two.

Recommended for fans of: Dormant, Dornenreich, Agalloch, Velnias, Bergtagen, Noltem, Ulver, Neun Welten...

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