Zwenz - A Life's Work of Natrgaard

28 de jul de 2009

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Zwenz - A Life's Work of Natrgaard

On his newest release "A life's work of Natrgaard" Natrgaard has a completely new style. Before he made Black Metal, more and more influenced with an atmospheric sound. Now on this latest release it is not really Black metal anymore, rather Folk Metal or let us call it "Nature Metal" (which I think Natrgaard wants it to be).

The music itself is by far calmer and more epic as before. That does not mean, that there aren't faster and more rocking parts, but the focus does not lie on them. Even the harsh and raw vocals from for example "Weltenfahrt jenseits der Karte" have mostly been replaced by clean vocals. Natrgaard sure is not the best clean vocalist, I liked his rawer vocals a little bit better, but he does a good job. And important to mention is that the Burzum and Nargaroth like influences from the former albums have mostly disappeared, if one has to compare "A Life's work" with another band "Empyrium" or maybe "Surturs Lohe" jump to my mind, though "Zwenz" has its own sound and still manages to be more than a copy of a famous or legendary band. The production values are great too. Clear sound, as far as I can tell no errors in playing and some nice soundsamples make the album great to listen to.

Still this is not a really professional album, but I am sure when Natrgaard gets signed by a label or gets the chance to release something on a label, I am sure he will keep up the good work. He has more talent and more ideas than many other (even very good) bands in the Black Metal underground scene, that is certain.

Original review at: http://www.metal-archives.com/

Black Metal, Germany
Full-length, Self-Produced
April 2005

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Old Man's Child - In Defiance Of Existence

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Old Man's Child - In Defiance Of Existence

Old Man's Child, a black metal band who aren't exactly the most respected in their genre. In fact they are probably the most hated after the ex-black metal bands Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir. Because they share some members with the terrible two? Because they include melody in a genre that's supposed to be raw? The use of keyboards? The fact that they're fairly popular? Who knows. But this isn't reflected in the quality of their music. Personally I think it's a good thing to share the two most talented (ex-)members of those two bands, namely Galder and Nicholas Barker. As a whole Old Man's Child looks like this:

Galder - Vocals, Lead & Acoustic Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Jardar - Lead & Acoustic Guitars
Nicholas Barker - Drums

This album is arguably the finest work Old Man's Child has ever put out. Contrary to some of the band's earlier work, this isn't drowned in keyboards or synths, something that might have put off some people. The keyboards are used appropriately, only to create an atmosphere or add a touch of melody. And this is done with great skill. The production is crystal clear and sounds really great (So what if they didn't record in some cellar?) The keyboards are more in the background, where they should be. They give the album a dark and mystical sound, suited for the genre, there are even some chanted vocals to add to that atmosphere. The other vocals have a layered effect and sound good. The guitars and the drums are the most prominent. And with good reason!

The riffs on this album are superb, Galder is certainly a talented guitarist. Every song contains at least a couple of creative riffs and here and there a nice solo. The guitar work has quite a bit of death metal influence and it certainly sounds a lot fuller and chunkier than other black metal. And they mix very well with the keys, there's even some acoustic work around, mainly intros but 'In Quest of Enigmatic Dreams' is fully acoustic and instrumental.

The drums sound perfect in the mix and they really are some of the best I've heard. Barker is an amazing drummer, despite of being so hated. He does some great blast beats, but he's more than that, he has some wonderful fills and his double bass work is furiously trampling and fast as lightning. He's really the driving force of this album.

I can really say this is a very enjoyable album, great production, brilliant song writing, mixing melody and occult lyrics with speed and aggression of the drums and the guitars. And even though the sound of this album is too full and melodic to be accepted by the elitists this is a strong recommendation.

Original review at: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/

Melodic Black Metal, Norway
Full-length, Century Media
January 20th, 2003

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