Five years after the Austrian duo DORNENREICH released their album "Her Von Welken Nächten” the successor and fourth full-length album “Hexenwind” sees the light of day. If you are familiar with DORNENREICH you know that it is a band who has altered during the last couple of years since they released their first album. They already had begun as an extraordinary Black Metal band with the right touch for fine melodies and this was kept alive in a certain way. The Black Metal share steadily became less and less from their first to their second and to their third album. What was left was the fine melodies and the great song writing. With “Hexenwind” they finally kissed Black Metal completely goodbye and all I can say about that is “So what?!”, because Eviga and Valnes are damn brilliant songwriters. And most important of all: they are unique!
The album begins with wind noises – appears somewhat logical to me – which are accompanied by occasional inaudible whisper, or the other way round? Hard to tell, as it seems like the wind is whispering. The tracks that follow are "Der Hexe Flammend’ Blick“ and "Der Hexe Nächtlich Ritt“ and both songs are of equal intensity. The clean vocals along with the whispering are a great combination and mixed with beauteous melodies it’s simply wonderful. Just listen to “Der Hexe Nächtlich Ritt” at ...goose bumps!
I don’t want to give away too much and that’s why I won’t address the two remaining songs at all, because you actually ought to listen to this piece of art yourself as it seems almost impossible for me to put into words what DORNENREICH accomplished with “Hexenwind”. It is an amazingly soothing and yet fiery release, which lures you into a fantasy world in which it carries you around like a leaf in the (hexen)wind.
What I am wondering though is why people criticise DORNENREICH for changing their style as I think this change has begun to show from the very beginning. I am by far not the most tolerant Metalhead if it’s about music, but this release is a bloody amazing masterpiece. If I could award it with more than 10 points I would, but unfortunately our scale ends at 10... (Online January 16, 2006)