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Klabautamann - Our Journey Through The Woods (6,5/10) - Germany - 2003/2008

Genre: Black Metal / Folk Metal
Label: Vendlus Records
Playing time: 51:32
Band homepage: Klabautamann

Tracklist:

  1. Intro: Walking Through Twilight
  2. Der Nöck
  3. Trolldance
  4. Rabenmorgen
  5. Seaghost
  6. Elfentanz
  7. Tower Of Sorcery
  8. This Place
  9. Spring Morning Sun
  10. Autumn's Breath
Klabautamann - Our Journey Through The Woods

A Metal fan passionately fond of Germanic folklore and beliefs in supernatural beings is not expected to walk indifferently past a CD filled with lyrics concerning such topics and once the music attracts with the same power an album like this is a real gem. KLABAUTAMANN, a musical duet from Germany show already by their name and the title of their release that any suspicions about them being unfamiliar with trolls, elves and forests are pretty unjustified. As to the sounds they have recorded, they will probably not make you jump on a table with your mead-filled wooden cup in hand, though these will not either left you with a feeling that something must have gone really wrong for the musicians while producing “Our Journey Through The Woods”.

 

The introductory tune from the Germans’ first full-length resembles much of a certain excerpt from ULVER’s “Bergtatt” album as similarly to this one the listener can hear someone treading through a forest  plus a subtle music accompaniment. The atmospheric mood set here vanishes just as quickly as it has appeared – the following “Der Nöck” does not leave the slightest doubt that the music of KLAUBATAMANN has its solid fundament in Black Metal, building of which in this particular case came off under a strong influence from the Viking architects of ENSLAVED. The razor-sharp riffs featured in this composition refer to their “Eld” album era and seem to be designed exclusively for inflicting one’s aural centre with cut wounds at a fast rate.

 

This said, I have to add that the Black inspirations do not prevent the group from reaching for and using some other music sources. The variety of guitar structures that can be experienced almost throughout the whole work results in passages of typically Folk (“Trolldance”), Doom (opening fragments in “Rabenmorgen”) or just Black Metal character (“Tower Of Sorcery”). On certain occasions the lead guitar creates somewhat more serene sounds in the foreground of its counterpart that is buzzing and leaving some dirty traces behind. Apart from that, some sequences of attention-grabbing guitar soloing appear here and there with the one in “This Place” hitting my top for this record.

 

Vocal parts consist only of blackish shrieking and some whispers, which most of the time works decently, yet becomes slightly monotonous and grows weary in the second part of the CD, also for the reason of the music itself being of somewhat worse quality than the first five regular songs. Even the diversified tempo – characterizing as a matter of fact many of the album moments – does not arouse any big interest for most of the stuff appearing further on.

 

“Our Journey Through The Woods” shows that KLABAUTAMANN have the capacity for making good music, but at the same time it feels as if they were not able to find the right way to fully take advantage on this. Decent efforts intersperse here with rather mediocre material yet it is worth checking especially for Black Metal listeners who appreciate a certain amount of Folk melodies and texts dealing with folklore.

(Online October 17, 2008)

Sebastian Jazdzewski



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