Dammerfarben - Herbstpfad
Northern Silence Productions
Atmospheric Folk/Black Metal
7 songs (30'47")
Release year: 2012
Northern Silence
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

New music always strikes me better when it is more “in tune” with the season when I heard it first. You can’t be waiting for the gloomier periods of the year to listen to a good Northern Silence release, so scorching summer heat was a backdrop for my introduction to Dammerfarben’s Herbstpfad. And as any well-crafted persuasive music would do, Herbstpfad made me forget about the high 90’s outside (Fahrenheit for our European readers), and made it feel autumnal, early fall-like, when leaves are turning color, and before weather turns completely cold and nasty.

On Herbstpfad Dammerfarben combined broadly stroked atmospheric folk melodies with some not overly aggressive black metal elements. The folk music of Herbstpfad is not Octoberfest, is not a cheap gimmick, but instead weaves around almost calligraphic in their precision, but childish in their naiveté, melodies. This approach is most obviously represented on the album’s instrumentals (Höststig, Vinterblekheten över fältet, Löv i höststormen, Vintervisa), but is still a backbone for its heavier tracks. Dammerfarben musicians are making excellent use of less traditional instruments (nyckelharpa) and this brings an unusual sound to Höststig and the lead in Im Spätherbst, crossing over the barrier between string instrument, like guitar or cello, and folk wind instrument like hurdy-gurdy. Herbstpfad’s heavier tracks, Im Spätherbst, Zu nächtlicher Stund and Und Winters Kälte kehret ein, have more pent up energy in them, especially Und Winters Kälte kehret ein, but they never cross over into the punishing aggressive territory. The main riff in Im Spätherbst picks up the tempo nicely, Zu nächtlicher Stund begins more somber and doomy, but the mood always returns to warm and dreamy. Call this a more exuberant, brighter shade atmospheric black metal, if you wish, with extreme vocals of Dammerfarben fitting the template properly, earthier and open, never conceited exaggerated banshee yelps. As if running through seasonal changes Herbstpfad’s vocalized songs (Zu nächtlicher Stund) have room in them to incorporate winter slumber, spring awakening, summer intensity and fall-like acoustic outro. Instrumental music on the album is peaceful and sweet, accordion and shaker in Vinterblekheten över fältet sounding homey, but not trite and cheap. The sadness, pervasive on the album, is absolutely not crushing, but rather sweet and wistful. Some violin based songs (Löv i höststormen, and female vocals carried Vintervisa) are a bit more predictable Nordic folk, which while well played seems to be slightly bare of excellent polyphony presented on Höststig, Im Spätherbst and Vinterblekheten över fältet.

Choosing its location somewhere in the countryside, not in the densely populated drunken village, yet not in total isolation either, right at the edge of a sunny meadow in early fall, but not deeply into the gloomy forest, Herbstpfad is an enjoyable gift of music to those into lighter side of black metal, like Kerbenok and early Klabautamann.

Killing Songs :
All are enchanting, but Vintervisa and Löv i höststormen are a bit less so
Alex quoted 83 / 100
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