Honestly, this album is very underrated. I remember a time where DORNENREICH was still an enigma to me or even further, when I never heard anything about them. When I was a little younger, 14 years or so, I was very into German extreme bands such as EISREGEN. Then some guy on the Internet recommended DORNENREICH to me, saying that it takes emotions to a far more intense level of comprehension (and would not be as direct as others, thus inducing you to think). DORNENREICH is one of those bands, who have far more concept in their music than most bands, taking their music to a more philosophical level, similar as great bands such as PINK FLOYD do. Their early work was more Black Metal influenced and their newer stuff is closer to PINK FLOYD as most people think. "Her Von Welken Nächten", which means something like "Fro from Withered Nights" is their bridging album between the Black Metal and the Progressive Rock music they make nowadays.
This album is also my personal favorite from them. I remember them playing back in 2007 on a festival, where they took their old line-up and played the whole "Her Von Welken Nächten" album, which was marvellous. It stars out with a creepy introductory track where a person repeats the album title in whispers, asking what the nights bring forth. A strange and eerie violin tone kicks in, followed by a glockenspiel. After about a minute of that, the actual music begins, with a choppy down tuned guitar riff in variation with the shrieky type of vocals the singer now adopts. Another great thing here is how harmonics are played on the guitar. They add massively to the atmosphere and are also placed very nicely. The music progresses and becomes very weird, almost trippy, with actual patterns becoming difficult to overlook. It varies from straightforward riffing to blast beat attacks and very aggressive shrieking. The songs themselves often have a sudden break in their execution where beautiful violin melodies, accompanied by groovy drum and percussion beats, take the listener into a very gloomy atmosphere. I can not point out the fact sharp enough in how I hate it when one particular instrument stands out and is the loudest. Luckily the keyboards on this album are absolutely perfect. At first you don't even notice them and just hear the pattern it creates. You will come across a few tracks played in pianissimo that contribute very well to the concept as a whole, as you will not hear the same type of track over and over again or filler tracks put into the album to make it longer.
Eviga's screeching is amazing, once you get used to it, but the same thing could be said about KING DIAMOND. Once it penetrates you aquire the taste for it, it becomes amazing. As the music progresses, it evolves into something difficult to describe. It's as if DORNENREICH have managed to authentically induce the emotion of real fear into their music.
..."Die Nacht sie reicht mir meine Hand" ("The night passes me my own hand")...
Another exceptional aspect of the album is the drumming. Technically, Moritz manages to surpass most drummers in this scene. The fills, the pauses, the energy. You can really feel this man has put a lot of effort into his drumming on the album. Normally, as rather a vocalist and an novice musician myself, I don't pay too much attention on the drums, but on this LP, they are really impressive.
As you continue to listen to this album, you continue your own journey into the night, assuming the role of the protagonist of the music. His venture becomes yours. His fears and emotions become yours. You will not be the same after this experience. Stand out tracks include "Wer Hat Angst Vor Einsamkeit?" and "Trauerbrandung". Highly recommended.
(Online June 30, 2009)