Nebelung - Palingenesis
Temple of Torturous
Dark Atmospheric Acoustic Neo-Folk
6 songs (50'08")
Release year: 2014
Temple of Torturous
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

Don’t you love it when the little write-up by the label sending you a promotional copy is right on the money, describing the music in exciting terms, but without over-the-top truth embellishment? With Germans Nebelung’s Palingenesis Temple of Torturous managed to do exactly that. Not to mention that the record itself, darkwave acoustic folk is something I totally did not expect from this Swedish label. Sure, its black metal acts, like Fyrnask and Melencolia Estatica are more avant-garde in nature, but something like Nebelung, totally outside of the black metal realm, belongs somewhere close to Prophecy Productions.

I knew I would be enjoying Palingenesis pretty much after the first run through the record. Or, jumping the gun even further, as soon as the opener Mittwinter stopped playing. The composition unfolded and embraced with its acoustics first, only to begin to titillate completely somewhere around 2.5 min in, adding layers, tremolo passages and subtle percussion. If only this unbelievable flow could be maintained …

And the answer, outside of perhaps a little tedious back-to-back Nachtgewalt and Aufgang is a resounding “yes”. Not reduced to here and there excellent violin melody (the closing of Nachtgewalt), the music on Palingenesis is absolutely delicate, tender, and yet not boring. I can sit alone with these compositions, basking in the glow of elicited feelings, albeit desolate and lonely. There is progress in these pieces, constant flow, even if passages seemingly repeat themselves. Nebelung manages to cleverly stack the polyphony, to introduce another instrument, at an absolute right moment, to keep the attention of the listener glued. Take the longest piece Wandlung. From electroacoustic guitar to cello to some rather forceful and lower shade acoustic instrument I don’t know to ringing snappy harp (or is it hammered dulcimer?), with a little piano splashed in here and there, the song keeps the palpable tension throughout its almost 15 min. Innerlichkeit manages to caress just as well, with velvety cello and pinched acoustics. Violin (or viola?) is more in your face and pronounced, and even some accordion can be heard, the sounds are all organic and natural.

The lyrical lines are very few and far between on Palingenesis, just a few spoken words on Mittwinter, if I remember correctly. And then Nebelung don’t need any words. If Palingenesis meant “pain generation” in Greek, the record rather soothes instead, with unspoken calm and deliverance. Ihsahn’s Hardingrock had a few similar moments, and Agalloch can deliver in the same direction, but Nebelung did it consistently and with class for 50 min.

Killing Songs :
Mittwinter is absolutely fantastic, but I loved Wandlung and Innerlichkeit almost as much
Alex quoted 84 / 100
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