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XIV Dark Centuries – Waldvolk

XIV Dark Centuries
by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 23 February 2020, 12:14 PM

XIV DARK CENTURIES are a Six-Piece from Oberhof, Germany. They have been at it for over two decades and this is their first album in over 9 years. Since the last album, some band members left and some were added, mostly back in 2017. The new lineup delivers an outstanding blend of Folk Metal mixed in with Pagan Metal.

I love the imagery of the band, the artwork is awesome and the lyrical content does speak to me personally. I always enjoyed anything concerning Vikings and Pagan lore and this album has ton of content. The pagan imagery and symbols are extremely profound and the meaning to people is on a deeply level that most of us wouldn’t understanding nonetheless. They did a few videoclips for this album and they have that cinematic feel to them. They may be a bit minimalist but they are highly enjoyable.

The first song really sets the tone of the album and you can safely see that this album is a great follow-up to the 2011 underrated gem called ‘’Gizit dar Farda’’. I see a lot of similarities between both albums and I don’t know why it took 9 years to have another album but it’s still a great ride. I guess life takes you on a collision course with the trials of tribulations of time. I am still pretty sure that the longstanding fans will really enjoy this album.

They mix Black Metal riffs and Folk Metal relatively well. I think this album has a more melodic feel to it than their previous efforts and mixed with their other influences make a great whole. The production is still pretty good and greatly improved than what they did in the beginning of their career. The instrumental songs on this album are on point and are very reminiscent of SYG:AR:TYR a few years back. They have a very cinematic atmosphere that is truly haunting.

The musicianship is top notch and all 6 members really shine on this collaborative effort. I was not the biggest fan of the overlays of the vocals. Sometimes you can hear the growls at the same time as the clean vocals and it bugged me. I felt sidetracked to be honest and some songs I don’t know where they were going honestly. The structure of the songs are really well composed but the dual vocals were a bit of a trainwreck on some songs, especially on ‘’Atme den Wald’’ but the atmosphere of the whole album is on point.

This album is a great mix of Black and Folk Metal and yet it has this daunting atmosphere that makes it even more special.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Heimwaerts
2. Skogafulka
3. Svava
4. Firratan
5. Atme den Wald
6. Ich bin das Feuer
7. Sunna
8. Julenzeit
9. Runibergun
10. Bragarful
11. Nott
Tobalt – Guitars
Michel – Vocals
Marley – Bass
Manu – Drums
Killing Uwe – Guitars
Tobi – Keyboards
Record Label: Einheit Productions


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