Siebenburgen - _Loreia_
(Napalm Records, 1997)
by: Steve Hoeltzel (
Some enjoyable music here, but nothing especially innovative or aggressive. It's mostly mid-paced metal which emanates a blackened feel, while never becoming particularly harsh or dark. Melancholic, mid-paced riffs and a semi-spoken black metal snarl define the style, which sometimes reminds me a lot of Dimmu Borgir's _Stormblast_ - minus the stirring keys and variation. In place of keyboards, Siebenburgen incorporate folkish female vocals and the occasional well-placed violin. By black metal standards, the album's speedier parts are not especially fast. Still, there's definitely some effective material, especially the songs in which the riffs and vocals display the strongest folk influence, like "Ungentum Pharelis" and the title track. Also worth mentioning are the punchier "Dodens Somn" and "Vittring av Liv", both of which express some more traditional heavy metal influences. The mix and production are good - but it seems to me that with less studio polish, the band might have a more "woodsy" atmosphere which would really add to their sound, given its poetic and folkish sources of inspiration. And at 52 minutes in length, the album is fairly repetitious, with very little real dynamic variation within each song, or difference in song length (between five and six minutes), structure (conventional), tempo (mostly mid-paced), or feel.
(article published 7/14/1997)
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