Hel - _Tristheim_
(Det Germanske Folket, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (7.5 out of 10)
Det Germanske Folket are quickly establishing themselves as one of my favourite labels, due to their small but excellent focus on underground Viking / pagan / folk metal. Hel nominally fall into this category, but have opted to take a diversion down the same path travelled by Empyrium, Frostmoon Eclipse and Ulver in recording a purely acoustic album. The atmosphere is one of contemplative melancholy, evoking a pastoral mood centred around acoustic strumming not dissimilar to Ulver's _Kveldssanger_ or October Falls' _Marra_.

Other instruments, such as cello and piano, are occasionally used. Vocals (sung in German) are not used that often; the focus is clearly on the music, as it should be. Although it is not as sublime as _Marra_, which is the flag bearer for bucolic neofolk, this does have its merits -- it certainly is better than Empyrium's _Where at Night the Woodgrouse Plays_. The mood is also more sombre than their peers, and would have benefited from an additional guitar to fill out what are overly basic and empty passages. Nonetheless, _Tristheim_ remains an acceptable entrant to this minor pantheon.

Contact: http://www.pagan-midgard-art.de

(article published 24/8/2007)

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