Dornenreich - _Durch Den Traum_
(Prophecy Productions, 2006)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8 out of 10)
Disappointed as I was by its predecessor _Hexenwind_, my hopes that _Durch Den Traum_ might match their highly interesting 2001 effort _Her von welken Nächten_ were rather thin. With one half of the duo departing before the last album however, at least _Durch Den Traum_ might prove to be a more accomplished and consolidated album within Dornenreich's current musical frame -- despite seeming to originate from the same source of inspiration as the last record. The simplistic cover art and absence of song titles may seem to indicate otherwise, but as it turns out _Durch Den Traum_ has exceeded my expectations, rivaling _Her von welken Nächten_ in several aspects.

With Dornenreich's characteristic use of acoustic guitars combined with percussion, as well as German sung vocals that are somewhere between whispered and snarled and an unusual electric guitar style, _Durch Den Traum_ is at least guaranteed to avoid coming across as derivative in today's crowded market. A lot of emphasis seems to have been placed in creating a spacious, organic sound, and _Durch Den Traum_ does achieve very good results production-wise during the more tranquil passages, although the harsher ones could have sounded stronger. The acoustic guitar work is very well done, and the atmospheric component created with strings, percussion and whispers is both unusual and very interesting (take the intensity of the fifth track as an example).

Gone is much of the venom and metallic extremity of their earlier work, but you still get some black metal screaming, and with good results (as shown in the excellent second and fifth tracks, for instance). The songwriting is decidedly non-linear, with the metal sections starting and stopping a lot, the songs occasionally seeming to interrupt themselves to move in a different direction entirely. This results in music that demands your attention, instead of simply presenting you with a memorable chorus or a couple of hooks. There are risks inherent to this approach, of course, and almost inevitably there are times when the songs wander off quite a bit and may lose the listener (e.g. the seventh track), but fortunately the success rate on _Durch Den Traum_ is quite high.

If you like your metal atmospheric and sombre but also adventurous and quirky, and especially if acoustic guitar and half-demented vocal deliveries can make your day, then _Durch Den Traum_ should definitely be a safe bet. It won't be to everyone's liking, but it hardly seems to have been recorded with that purpose in mind. Those who constitute its potential audience will most likely be glad to find Dornenreich back in good shape in 2006.


(article published 12/1/2007)

5/30/2014 P Azevedo 9 Dornenreich - Freiheit
2/26/2011 P Azevedo 9 Dornenreich - Flammentriebe
7/2/2008 P Azevedo 8 Dornenreich - In Luft geritzt
10/19/2001 P Azevedo 8.5 Dornenreich - Her Von Welken Nachten
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