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Heimdalls Wacht - Ut de Graute Olle Tied Deel II: Land der Nebel

Heimdalls Wacht
Ut de Graute Olle Tied Deel II: Land der Nebel
by Danny Sanderson at 29 October 2015, 11:17 AM

Germany has a strong and illustrious Black Metal scene, and can boast some of the best and most enduring bands of the genre. From the FALKENBACHs Folky forays to raw fury of DARKENED NOCTURN SLAUGHTERCULT, the German scene has bands that cater to the tastes of pretty much every sort of Black Metal fan. Ahlen based HEIMDALLS WACHT have been waving the Pagan Black Metal flag since 2004, releasing six full lengths, a demo and two splits worth of great Black Metal. Their latest record, "Ut de Graute Olle Tied Deel II: Land der Nebel", acts as a companion piece to 2008's "Ut de Graute Olle Tied Deel I", and illustrates some of their most impressive and versatile recorded output to date.

"Indiculus Paganarium", a short, instrumental piece that opens the album, is a great way to build the listeners expectations for the rest of the album. It's based around acoustic guitars and rhythmic drumming, which gives the overall track a Folky feel. The following track, "Die Fallenden Blatter der Irminsul", is, by contrast, a vast, sprawling piece of raw Black Metal. The guitar lines sound sharp, the vocals are extremely varied, and ultimately work very well with the music that it accompanies, and there's some really confidently played, authoritative bass lines and drumming that really fills out the sound of the track. There are some more acoustic parts, but they are used sparingly and only when necessary, preventing this near thirteen minute opus from becoming stale or uninteresting. "Conspiration Barbarica" opens with a great, tremolo picked riff and some chanted vocals, which really grabs the listeners attention straight away and draws them in. This is a much more mid-paced song, with piercingly sharp vocals cutting through the music and rising to the top of the mix. There's plenty of musical ideas and guitar hooks are thrown into the mix here, and this results in a really solid track that's sure to become a crowd pleaser in the near future.

"Aud roter Erde erbluht… (Ursprung Teil I)", with its atmospheric opening moments, is one of the albums most memorable track. The chanted vocals that are used give this an almost Power Metal feel to it, and the music itself has an equally powerful quality to it. This is an absolutely monolithic song, which again utilises some well placed acoustic sections to great affect; moreover, there's some really interesting, melodic lead guitar parts that are really imaginative and catchy, ultimately making this one of the albums best and most memorable songs. Normally, a song that is close to eight minutes in length has a tendency to drag, but in this case it flies by, and it could have been double the length and not lost any of its appeal or effect on the listener.

"Schwarzmondritual" is another track that has the potential to become a fan favourite in years to come, and this is namely down to its tight, vicious guitar lines, impressive drum work and dark, acerbic vocals. "(Leben) Im Zeichen der Todesrune" utilised some really cool, distorted tones to great effect, giving a very different sound to the rest of the tracks on this record. It slowly begins to revert to a more standard Black Metal tone and delivery, but it still manages to retain some of the more experimental elements exhibited on the earlier parts of the song. The penultimate song on the record,

"Seelenstaub", begins on some more dissonant, jarring chords before breaking into a piece of ferocious, bestial sounding Black Metal. The music on here fits together seamlessly, creating a dark, unrelenting wall of guitars, bass and drums. It's a solid track that really sets the listener up for the albums final offering; "Des Wolfes zottinges Fell". Once again, there's plenty of great, well thought out acoustic guitar parts on here, along with violin melodies, that make this track seem like it's going to be a much calmer affair, which, for the most part, it is. The vocals are much cleaner and softer, matching the music fairly well. In the songs final moments, the acoustic guitars switch to electric ones, and we're treated to a very atmospheric, melodic piece of Black Metal. This only lasts for a couple of minutes before the music begins to die away and the album draws to a close.

This record is very good. Although there were a couple of moments early on in the album where it doesn't really pull you in and captivate you in the way that the opening songs on a record could, this is, for the most part, a really diverse and intriguing album. It certainly measures up to its twin, even surpassing it in many places. This is easily one of the band's best records, and has certainly set a new benchmark for their future output.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Indiculus Paganiarum
2. Die Fallenden Blatter der Irminsul
3. Conspiratio Barbarica
4. Auf Roter Erde Erbluht…(Ursprung Teil I)
5. Schwarzmondritual
6. (Leben) Im Zeichen der Todesrune
7. Seelenstaub
8. Des Wolfes Zottinges Fell
Lineup:
Thjafjaz - Bass
Winterheart - Drums
Teja - Guitars
Saruman - Vocals
Narhemoth - Vocals
Herjann - Guitars
Record Label: Black Skull Records
     


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Edited 19 November 2019
 

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