Dornenreich – Flammentriebe (2011)


After gaining widespread popularity with their “Bitter ist's dem Tod zu dienen” album, one of the first ones to introduce Folkish elements with Black Metal back in 1999, the band has been constantly experimenting and releasing more and more interesting album every time. While plenty of people never understand the path of a band like this, we have loved almost every single album this band has put out.

On “Flammentriebe”, the band returns to some of their most brutal roots and delivers one hell of an album.  Featuring 8 tracks of atmospheric neo-folk/classical metal with Black Metal attacks, Dornenreich makes it very hard for us to find a band that has done it before as graciously as them in this release. Each track is beautifully adorned with the amazing violin skills of Thomas Riesner and with Moritz Neuner back on drums, the sonic aggression never stops.

With very mystical opening, “Flammenmensch” immediately morphs into a Black Metal onslaught that will surely confuse some of the band’s newer listeners. Jochen Stock delivers his usual deranged vocals in shapes of whispers, screams, you-name-it-he-has-it, drawing comparisons to a ‘calmer’ version of Niklas Kvarforth. The track follows a very brutal path, but is greatly contrasted by the violin melody beautifully carved into the song structure.

The band might confuse you with the calm acoustic/folk-ish openings for most tracks, but make no mistake; this album is furious and shows a side of the band we haven’t seen in quite a while. The violin is probably the element that makes this album so much different from all your run of the mill Black Metal with Folk elements bands, and this paired with the deranged vocals is what’s made Dornenreich a band that produces interesting and fresh albums.

The combination of acoustic and neo-classical sections is brilliant in tracks like “Tief im Land” and “Wolfpuls”, showcasing the beauty of the music with the harshness and brutality of Black Metal elements. In the album’s most brutal ‘half of a track’ “Fährte der Nacht” we have an amazing contrasting second half of the track that made us check if the song didn’t change and we didn’t noticed more than once.

Our favorite track of the album has to be “Erst deine Träne löscht den Brand”, a mostly instrumental (there are some whisperers) song that showcases what we love about the band: great acoustic passages, beautifully crafted violin sections and melodic guitars. With much less intensity than the rest of the tracks, we surely appreciate such a closing piece.

Overall, we have to say that Dornenreich keeps being an amazing band (3 persons) in our eyes. With “Flammentriebe” they manage to capture the essence of their latest releases and bring back some of the brutality of the past. Some people will always hate on the change of styles of the band but nobody can deny Dornenreich’s ability to create musical masterpieces that transcend genres and styles. So stop wasting time and pre-order this album as soon as you can.

Band: Dornenreich Album: Flammentriebe
Label: Prophecy Productions

Release: February 11th, 2011 (Europe) / March 8th, 2011 (USA)

Official Site myspace
Genre: Exprimental Metal

Country: Germany

Rating: 90/100

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