SLARTIBARTFASS – Nebelheim
 
Label: Trollzorn
Release: October 19  2007
By: Stormlord
Rating: 7.5/10
Time: 47:26
Style: Viking Metal
URL: Slartibartfass
 

Like already hundreds of other volumes also SLARTIBARTFASS committed themselves to Viking Metal. What does this Ulmer group undertake on Nebelheim therefore in order to stick out of the multitude of similarly stored musicians?
First of all it catches my ear that SLARTIBARTFASS force an epic structure, cheerful (drinking-) songs are in the short-hand. Simultaneously a usually tramping hardness in the songs extends. Nevertheless it is unfortunately the cause that the igniting spark is missing in order to inflame my mind which is open for this kind of music normally. At least in the opening piece Herbstlied (Autumn’s Song) there is only soft applause from my side: a keyboard melody slides into the ear and anthem-like mid tempo provides for pleasing goodwill, but not for enthusiasm. In addition this song holds no surprises and less vocal variation. In the following St. Cuthbert, things look completely different for a bagpipe rings in this first class piece for adept composing. At the same time I was skeptic concerning the authenticity because of the perfect sound of the "bellows", but one look at the line-up makes clear that these sounds are not synthetic - player Jessica is a master of its specialty. Singer Daniel sounds also more striking in this case. In general, expanded instrumental passages let forget the unspectacular start. Unfortunately the group does not often use the wind-instrument. For that, Nicolas gets a chance to show his abilities playing the accordion during the track Erdmacht. In addition the very well done Jew’s harp part lets me listen attentively. The guitar seems to be forced to the background because of the multilayer instrumentation; sometimes it plays some power chords to care for necessary heaviness.
SLARTIBARTFASS set their main focus on atmosphere, not on ear-candy and cheery compositions to sing along or sway. The creativity in using different instruments and the sparse exertion of clichés lift this release above average a bit. Next time the group should care for alternation concerning vocals and the bagpipe should get more space to breathe – there is surely some time left in the mostly extra-long compositions
The band is on the right path, the one or other Viking Metal fan should begin the worthwhile march to Nebelheim, but be careful: terms like “battlesome” or “reflective” can be found on direction signs as orientation, barely items like “cheerful” or “to bellow”!