Review Summary: Dance like a hobbit, and riff like a warmaster.
The one-man band, Null's
, latest release is more than just another atmospheric black metal piece you may find every other week. The band's page on Metallum does not lie: behold, the mindfulness
black metal has arisen!
“At the start of spring
Listen closely and the land will sing
No more coldness
No more suffering”
Sometimes even the infamously grim genre washes off the corpse paint, and albums like Hiraeth
can take the opportunity to bring some colors into the black'n'white masquerade. The album's opener, "The Clearing", makes this all clear at very beginning (pun intended): the very first impression reflects a very positive tone. The album welcomes the listener with a "suspiciously" uplifting vibe through very Fief
-alike neo-medieval elements in contrast with an "ordinary" black metal release which would focus "only" being sinsister - and that's the twist! This feeling gets even more intense when the riffs kick in, and not to mention the subtle yet slightly dominant influence of flutes
It's impossible to connect the album's success to one single factor, because it feels like Hiraeth
has everything in a perfectly right amount. First of all, there is no great black metal album without somebody mentioning "oh yes, this riffs!"
, and it is true for Hiraeth
as well: the riffs are just keep coming and coming (strong Windir
influences, I'd say), and are often connected by many folky/instrumental passages. And I mean it: there are tons of them (pretty much like in Ensiferum
)! Through these sections, the album manages to capture and present numerous different emotions and themes, such as: calm and pleasant medieval ambient pieces, epic and victorious battle hymns, Eastern/oriental melodies in “Sacred Bliss”, cinematic fairy tale idyll through piano melodies in "Long Shadows"... or just some Howard Shore-alike epicness especially in "Arrival" or "Hiraeth II". However, all these things together might be too much for some people's cheese-o-meter, but that's why there are songs like "Discovery" on the album: to deliver the exact same energetic riff-storm and solos as Havukruunu
did last year. Also, I'd like to mention the album's production quality. Everything proves the creator's dedication and talent: everything is colorful and sounds gorgeous - pure excellency!
Charming. This is the most perfect way to define what captures the listener who dares to start the musical adventure through this 110+ minutes long atmospheric black metal piece.
“I walk out to the land
This feeling is so grand
I am regaining my
Strength in life and I refuse to die”
/from "Old Growth Forest"/