I'm not sure how many people already have discovered that Germany has a small, but very good Pagan Metal-scene with the likes of SUIDAKRA, MENHIR or RIGER. The latter are back with their latest effort, titled "Des Blutes Stimme" (Voice of the blood) and they again have delivered a quality product.
The usual question is, how the hell to you define Pagan Metal. Well, it basically is a bastard between quite melodic Metal, partly folk induced, with some Black Metal-elements in it, especially vocally, but not so much in the music to justify the categorization of "Folk Black Metal". Just like in the case of RIGER. Nice coincidence, isn't it?
Yes, the guitars are very traditionally Heavy Metal sounding, with lots of great melodies, with the occasional foray into the more Black Metallish shredding, before returning to their original beginning, bringing in some nice dynamics, which are further enhanced by the equally varied drumming and the many shifts of intensity and mood within the songs, which create a very nice set of energetic songs that are facetful and still do not lose focus within the composition. Basically a certain parallel to earlier SUIDAKRA with less folk in it is not the most adventurous description, even though RIGER are more than just a copy.
That RIGER use German lyrics, in connection with their often battle-ridden content, might very well be held against them, because of the rather martial sound of the language, but if you read along, you will realise that they are not really different from the usual English texts, just in a different language, that's all…
So listen to stuff like "Auf die Ahnen!" or "Im Graun der Nächte" or the very calm closer "Im Gedenken..." to hear for yourself. So Pagan Metal anyone? Yes? Then go and get RIGER! (Online December 1, 2002)