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”!