Taunusheim - Nebelkampfe - 2005 - Schwardon Production
1. Sleipnir 2. Getrunken das Bier 3. Nebelkampfe 4. Wundenschmiede 5. Taunusheim 6. Followed by the Raven 7. Die Reise zum Aar
Taunusheim are a German pagan metal band devoted to praising the beauty of the Taunus Mountains and surrounding landscapes. If this area is as beautiful as Taunusheim’s music, then I wouldn’t hesitate to visit. The band does an excellent job of incorporating Nordic and Germanic folk elements with a strong black metal base to create a truly epic and fantastic album in “Nebelkampfe.” In addition to utilizing keyboards, the members of Taunusheim play various traditional instruments such as flute, foghorn, and mouth-harp (harmonica) to give the songs a truly ethnic feel.
Taunusheim’s core is made up of brothers Erik (guitar/vocals) and Patrick (bass), and keyboardist Ilona. Vocally, Erik’s blackened rasps dominate most of the songs, but oftentimes clean-sung choirs permeate during a song’s chorus, such as during “Getrunken das Bier.” Erik also generally sticks to playing basic black metal riffs with a folkish twist – nothing especially innovative but solid all the same. The real folk influence in Taunusheim’s music is seen in the additional instruments, either actually played or synthesized on the keyboard. One of the finest examples of this is during the introduction to “Sleipnir,” where a hurdy-gurdy, of all things, drives the beginning melody of the song.
With the exception of “Followed by the Raven,” all of the tracks on “Nebelkampfe” are sung in German. As one might expect, “Followed by the Raven” is therefore one of the less ethnic sounding songs on the album. It instead sounds at first like a very well-executed symphonic black metal piece, that is until the end of the song, where we see the return of the hurdygurdy and an acoustic guitar takes over from the electric. This track shows off for a few moments a different side of Taunusheim, and does a great job accentuating their versatility.
“Nebelkampfe” honestly makes me want to take a trip to visit the fabled Taunus region. Naturally, this disc would be in the CD player the entire time. Taunusheim’s music is epic, inspired, and easy to listen to, and comes highly recommended to all. Most listeners will first think of Scandinavia and Russia when folk and pagan metal are mentioned, and rightly so, for most bands in this genre come from those places. Taunusheim, however, is the brightest pagan act out of Germany in some time and hopefully the scene there will only expand and grow.
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