Markus Eck from “Metal Message“ is back with his second sampler and after Dragon Design had taken care of the cover of the first volume, the second one has been ennobled by none other than Kristian Wahlin, looks really good! And how about the music? Well, it once again stands more in the dark spectrum between Death, Black, Pagan, Viking and some Folk Metal, so if you rather like it a bit heavier, then this could be something for you.
At first we have Japanese TYRANT, whose strongly keyboard-laden Black Metal is quite epic, but for me personally is too toothless. UNLIGHT then are a stark contrast, pummeling your brain with their hefty Death/Black Metal that you have to find your orientation again. But my favourite tracks again can be found in the Viking Metal portion, which is pretty big this time around. First off the Bavarians of WOLFCHANT, which fully convince with their battle horns, epic arrangements and strong atmosphere (and you can be sure that I will see to it to hear more of them!), then HORN with its clear and its female vocals, violin and horns, also need to hear more! NEBELHORN deliver a heavier portion of the style, while I already knew ODROERIR’s Pagan Metal from before. BLACK MESSIAH already are known from their great “Oath Of A Warrior” comeback, my 9/10 rating tells you all about it! And the Pagan/Viking outfit KLABAUTAMANN also has piqued my interest.
On the other side there are two fallout songs with CONVERGENCE, which apart from superfluous Hardcore vocals also do not have anything interesting on offer musically, while Australian BALTAK devastate everything that resembles a real song structure with harsh and grim Black Metal…
All in all still a recommendable compilation, which shows that Viking and Pagan Metal are going stronger than ever! (Online March 20, 2006)