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Theudho - Cult Of Wuotan (7/10) - Belgium - 2008

Genre: Pagan Metal
Label: Det Germanske Folket
Playing time: 49:03
Band homepage: Theudho

Tracklist:

  1. Zeitenwende
  2. Terror Cimbricus
  3. Thumelicus
  4. Harjaz
  5. Silence Reigned Over The Bog
  6. The Fall Of Rome
  7. Veleda
  8. Ahnenkult
  9. Wuotanes Her
  10. Prophecies In Flames
  11. Ergriffenheit
Theudho - Cult Of Wuotan

Just a glimpse at the fine cover-art created by Kris Verwimp aroused my interest for THEUDHO’s album under an all-saying title, “Cult Of Wuotan”. In full harmony with it, Verwimp’s art depicts no other than the highest god in Germanic mythology himself. Accompanied by his fellow animal comrades – Geri, Freki, Hugin and Munin – Odin (or in this case – Wuotan) is sitting on his throne and seem to embrace with his majestic sight every of the nine mythic worlds together with its dwellers.

 

THEUDHO represent the Belgian Metal scene and specialize in playing – as you now probably suspect – Pagan Metal. They have been releasing their works at regular two-years' intervals and “Cult Of Wuotan” is the album number three in their full-length discography.

 

Before the real kick off, the listener has to struggle through an intro, “Zeitenwende”, quality of which can not be considered as more than ordinary, both as regards the key section and the unsophisticated (so as not to say poor) spoken lyrics. What comes afterwards is not admittedly what I would label as “discovery of the wheel”, yet it provides you some joy and wakes desire to open up a bottle of mead. Blackish riffs are being mixed with their Heavy Metal/Hard Rock counterparts and paint in turns either violent or more serene soundscapes before our ears. Sometimes it gets even quite atmospheric like in the opening acoustic sounds of the fourth track called “Harjaz” or “Ahnenkult” (number eight on the track-list) and associations with for instance ULVER’s “Kveldssanger” are not completely out of place. Apart from that, Belgians do not spare us moments, which indicate their interest in the epic work of Tomas Forsberg known better as Quorthon. A very good example illustrating this is one of the best tracks on the whole CD named “Silence Reigned Over The Bog”, including monumental synth passages, narration conducted simultaneously by a male and female voice, Black Metal tempo speed-up, shrieks and above all a beautiful guitar part at the end of the third minute. Such diversity is present also in the majority of the album songs, of which for example “Veleda” offers additionally some female vocals (not of the best quality, insipid and unoriginal, yet unquestionably making the record more various).

 

Mentioning Quorthon a few lines earlier I indicated indirectly some influences from classic music present in THEUDHO’s full-length. These can be heard among others in “Wuotanes Her” when the keys (most probably) imitate cellos – a nice way of emphasizing the band’s historical text message for the listener. Right, setting focus on the lyrics, one will notice, that they most often concern the issues connected with the history of Germanic tribes somewhere around the first centuries A.D. Hence, we can learn about their struggle against the Roman empire and even be witnesses to its capital’s fall in the sixth song on the track-list called simply “The Fall Of Rome”. As a very good move from the group’s side I consider adding some information as regards the subject of each composition. Not only then you can enjoy the sounds generated in minds of those Belgian Odin’s followers but also you can learn some facts, which for a Metal fan interested in history would be an obvious reason for giving THEUDHO some additional points (though with emphasis, that not every song text or liner note is worth attention, like the pretentious one in the opener).

 

Generally speaking “Cult Of Wuotan” is a piece of relatively good Pagan Metal, however, I feel, that the band were capable of making it much better. You can admittedly find here good music ideas, though certain songs seem to be somehow unfinished. Just take as an example the already mentioned ones called “Veleda” and “Silence Reigned Over The Bog”, which for me could be a bit longer. Another thing is, that after a few spins of the CD only few moments stay in your mind creating therefore a feeling of some kind of insufficiency. Moreover, there is also a number of purely weak fragments here (the whole introduction or let us say the crappy key sequence in the second part of “Ahnenkult”).

 

While I am unsure whether I can easily recommend this music to the wide Pagan Metal audience, I do not hesitate to encourage you to check this music first on the ensemble’s website. Perhaps some of you will join THEUDHO in the cult of Wuotan.

(Online June 14, 2008)

Sebastian Jazdzewski



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