Welter - _The Elder Land_
(Berzerker Records, 1998)
by: Nuno Almeida (8 out of 10)
Welter is a Dutch one-man band. In this rather long (45 minutes) debut, labelled as an MCD, Herr Krieger played all the instruments and created what can be called a Viking/heathen metal album, clearly influenced by the likes of Falkenbach, Bathory, Burzum and especially Northern folk. The album consists of an interesting mix of old, raw black metal and folkish kind of songs. After a short intro, consisting of folk chants, comes the epic "Ingvian Pride", a nationalist song sang in English. It's pretty good, with clean, sad, folkish vocals by Herr Krieger. Then comes "Friesche Viking", a raw black metal track. This is a cover of an obscure Dutch black metal band called Black Art. After a rather amusing intro called "The Law of the North", with Herr Krieger singing things like "We'll step upon your little toes / The law of the North / If we want, we'll break your nose / The law of the North", comes the best track of the album, in my opinion. "Vitgedroogd Bloed", a Burzum-like song, with two very good and grim guitar riffs that are alternatively repeated. Vocals are the usual black metal rasp. Half the songs were recorded on a professional studio in the USA and the other half on Herr Krieger's own studio in the Netherlands. So, from track five until the end, the sound quality is a bit lower, as the sound becomes thinner. Track five is another raw black metal song, in the vein of Bathory, with the usual black snarl. After that comes "Bij de Sabelking", another folkish track, but this time combining both clean and rasped vocals. As in "Ingvian Pride", the guitar is fuzzy and raw. After a short instrumental outro that reminds me a lot of Mortiis comes another cover: Absurd's "Mourning Soul". The use of clean vocals doesn't quite work on this speed metal track. If you're into Falkenbach's type of music, my advice is to give Welter a chance. (Also reviewed in Ancient Ceremonies #3 -- http://come.to/ac_zine/)

(article published 19/5/1999)

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