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Death of a Dryad - Hameln

Death of a Dryad
Hameln
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 27 October 2020, 12:59 PM

DEATH OF A DRYAD is an Atmospheric Dark Metal duo from France, whose universe
mixes metal riffs with atmospheric ambiances. “Hameln” is a concept album loosely based on the Pied Piper of Hamelin, and suggests a succession of musical tableaux. The story takes its roots from an old medieval legend, from which the oldest reference dates back to the 15th century, and recounts facts from 1284. An array of ancient instruments was used to create a dark medieval atmosphere suitable for our story, emphasizing the flute, common thread throughout the album. “Hameln” starts at a crucial turning point, when the city is being freed from a rodent infestation, and the Piper is betrayed by his kin. The album contains seven tracks.

“Enter the Piper” leads off the album. Light symphonic elements open the song, with some spoken words in English. It builds slowly for a while, with some dark elements. “One by one, they’ll come to me” is repeated through the last several bars of the track. “Hameln” opens with some folky instruments, and a bit of drums. The vocals are spoken words at first, with a smooth cadence. Bass guitar strikes and recorder can also be heard. It picks up a bit after the half-way mark, with some stronger tones. Some flute notes enter the fray…this is pretty unique music.

“Apud Omnes Hostes” is another lengthy track…opening with some atmospheric elements, and a steady strike of drums. Spoken words with a bit of a snarl lead to some low, dark guitar and bass strikes. Harsh vocals tell an angry tale, complete with heavy guitars. The sound then settles down into a light groove. Then, the dark strikes return along with the harsh vocals. “Moths to a Flame” is a short, two-minute instrumental of clean guitars and flute/recorder, playing a simple melody line that you might have heard from a minstrel performing in the streets in the renaissance era.

“Left to Die” is yet another lengthy song that builds slowly, opening with folky instruments and a bit of a groove. Suddenly, it sounds like Black Metal. This was unexpected…a scream a wall of guitars, and drums working overtime. From there it settles. Dark elements abound, especially in the spoken words. The sound works with the title of the song. Being left to die is one of the biggest forms of betrayal out there. “Requiem” is a PROJECT PITCHFORK cover. Not being familiar with the band, I can’t say how well the cover is done…but it’s an odd song…there is mostly just spoken words with light instrumentation, and a darkness that permeates the entire album that just hangs out there.

“Freedom Lies” closes the album. As with the other songs, it opens slowly and takes a while for the sound to develop. After a minute of light and jovial flute notes, some heavy guitars attack and quickly retreat. More spoken word leads the tale. This tug and push continues throughout the song. Overall, this was a tough album to evaluate because it lacked a lot in the sonority department. If you appreciate good lyrics, you will like this, but the music suffers as a result. There is barely enough music to even call this a “Metal” album IMO, and the constant spoken words get annoying for me after a while.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 5
Memorability: 3
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Enter the Piper
2. Hameln
3. Apud Omnes Hostes
4. Moths to a Flame
5. Left to Die
6. Requiem
7. Freedom Lies
Lineup:
Nogh – Vocals, Guitars
Carol – Bass, Flute
Record Label: Independent
     


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