It seems like we have the ode to heathenism here with SYMBEL's debut "We Drink - Hymns And Counsel Of Anglosaxon Heathenry", which is "dedicated to all those of positive heathen intent" and a song title like "Heathen I Am". So I guess that the Church won't find many followers around this one man project, eh?
Anyways, released via Angelisc, that was a definitive plus already, because this small label is run by none other than the folks of FOREFATHER, whose albums I love (and if you like majestic Pagan Metal and surrounding sounds, then you definitely should check them out!!!), so my hopes for SYMBEL were quite high.
Just like FOREFATHER, this is no music for the masses, just contrary to them, SYMBEL hold far less melodies and gripping arrangements and structures, which makes it a lot harder to stomach them, also because of the fact that the clean vocals do not have the same class as FOREFATHER's (albeit not being bad) and the faster sections of the music being too, hm, bland to really impress.
A "Saecsen Drinking Song" definitely has the potential to win me over, but over the whole album "We Drink-Hymns And Counsel Of Anglosaxon Heathenry" fails to capture my attention due to the absence of truly brilliant moments and gripping and grand melodies. Who is into Heathen/Pagan Metal and likes the gruff atmosphere, should still check out SYMBEL, I will go back to FOREFATHER for the time being… (Online March 9, 2003)