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Nebelhorn - Urgewalt

by Katharine Hassett at 08 July 2018, 11:31 AM

NEBELHORN is a one-man viking metal band started in 2002 in Murrhardt, Baden-Wurrtemberg, Germany. With the help of guest musicians, poly-instrumentalist Wieland creates some seriously supreme and authentic music that is every bit atmospheric as it is Pagan and blackened. Releasing two albums, Gen Halwegs Grund in 2005 and Fiordland Sagas in 2007, Urgeland is the third full length and open immediately fleshing out the orchestration and choir of guest musician Patrick, "Auf Bifrösts Rücken" sounds like a warrior suiting up to go to battle, with several layers of instrumentation that slowly builds with many warhorns that continue into the title track of the album. It may be important to mention here that NEBELHORN translates into fog horn.

"Urgewalt" carries on the uplifting orchestral sound and plows right into it with a groovy pagan metal sound, with high pitched screeches signature to black metal.  Wieland's clean vocals pair well with the melancholic chorus that gets cut into with blast beats and minor chord progressions, overall making a truly powerful opening statement for this 42 minute venture into the viking life. "Ägirs Zorn" begins adding thunder to the urgewalt (translatation: elemental force), with other sinister samples that lead into a groove with a choir behind it that have an almost religious sound. That track contains an earworm of a breakdown that should get anyone headbanging. Late in the song, our faces are melted with a speedy black metal riff with blasts and tremolo picking, every movement of the track proves to be catchy.

"Wilde Jagd" slowly begins with the sounds of horses and an army shouting, with the drum and guitars slowly building into sonically charged trem picking and skank beats. The black metal assault does not let up for a second on this track and it is the song this writer points anyone unfamiliar with NEBELHORN in the direction of. "Auf neue Lande" starts with an oft-repeated chord progression that throws some positive vibes into the mix. All is not sunshine, as a very dark, clean bridge pours on some classical guitar and spoken word, an atmospheric interlude that has a dreamlike quality that seems to be further explored in a more positive way on the intro to "Funkenflug," featuring samples of nature, whispered vocals and harp. An emotional solo behind slow rhythm guitar is coupled with a fist-pumping groove that is punctuated with more sounds of the forest and the ever anticipated flute playing of guest musician Nicole. The song then turns into an almost folk metal tune, slow drums and chords eventually joining the beautifully executed flutework.

The remarkably solid black/viking metal album closes in a melancholic fashion with acoustic guitar gut wrenching solos, and more satisfying warhorns and flute. Packing all the raw, often violent energy between two thought provoking instrumentals works very well for the one man army out on his third plight into the dark metal sea on a viking longship. This is one of the most supreme acts of this genre this reviewer has heard in a long time and its not a stretch to say it stacks up to the giants that employ a similar sound.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Auf Bifrösts Rücken
2. Urgewalt
3. Ägirs Zorn
4. Wilde Jagd
5. Muspellheim
6. Auf neue Lande
7. Funkenflug
8. Freyhall
Wieland - Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals, Lyrics
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 02 October 2022

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