Review Summary: Dornenreich’s musical evolution throughout the last decade has been truly outstanding but in no way unique.
This talented duo from Austria follows a path already paved by others such as Ulver , Empyrium and, in recent years, Alcest. Dornenreich (meaning sth like Empire of Thorns in german) never played typical black metal music, on the contrary, from their very first effort, Nicht um zu Sterben, they inherited a unique melodic dream like metal style.
On their 6th effort, In Luft Geritzt don’t expect to find any traces of metal elements.
The instruments used on here are none others than acoustic guitars, tambourine, bells and violin, played by Eviga’s new companion Inve (Thomas Riesner). The violin sets the pace, sometimes sad and mournful, others optimistic and up tempo, and blends wonderful with the acoustic guitar and the whispering voice of Eviga. The later, proves himself once more a talented musician who is definitely not afraid to strip his compositions from electrical elements and present a complete and high standard musical journey.
Musically, the album is quite difficult to be tagged under a certain genre. Here, the neo-folk elements are blended together with ambient atmosphere and whispered rather than sung lyrics (an element that remained nearly unaltered from their previous albums). But what truly stands out, is the overall atmosphere of the album, which appears to balance between romanticism and darkness.
On In Luft Geritzt, the listener will find some truly nostalgic and romantic moments, while Eviga will not hesitate to drag him along to a journey in darkness, to solitude and mournfulness. In these moments, the band seems to recall its black metal roots and brings forward the atmosphere that Eviga knows very well how to create the last years.
Let me mention also, that all the lyrics are in german (not quiet a surprise I know), a language that – despite my initial doupts, works pretty well on the overall outcome.
Its worth mentioning that the album released by Prophecy Records in 2 different formats, in a normal one and a “luxus” double cd (if I m not mistaken, the bonus cd contains the initial album without vocals). The album was recorded in Tirol, Austria and one can hardly thing of a better place to recreate this misty folkish atmosphere.
Dornenreich are definitely no pioneers, yet what they do they do it well. They know how to create sometimes beautiful other times melancholic soundscapes, and dress the whole overwheling ambience with wonderful melodies, powerful and emotional strings and dream like journeys into a world of romantisicm, darkness and passion.