Darkwood – Flammende Welt

On this third album Darkwood proves to be one of the best neo-folk bands of the moment. Whereas the first album was a mixture of folk and electronic tracks and the previous album ‘Heimat & Jugend’ was mostly of an industrial/soundscape nature, on ‘Flammende Welt’ the project around Henryk Vogel brings us intimate acoustic neo-folk songs. On the album a few orchestral pieces can be found, but most songs are dominated by acoustic guitar and vocals.

The cd opens with the bombastic orchestral track ‘For Europe’, which is not so strange, because Flammende Welt presents the third part of a triptychon dedicated to the ‘Struggle of Europe’, according to the Darkwood website. ‘Plot of Gold’ begins with a dark bass, after which it turns into a atmospheric folksong, with the nice cello contribution of Nadja S. Most of the songs that follow are rather quiet, only occassionally percussion comes to the foreground, the main focus lies on the guitar and singing. All the lyrics, which are not included with the cd, are written by Hendryk Vogel, except ‘Wittekind’ by Robert Hohlbaum, which text can be found at the Darkwood website. ‘Conquer we shall’ features a famous guest ‘vocalist’: the sampled voice of Winston Churchill fits in perfectly with the music!

Many great tracks are featured on this album, like ‘Storm of the gods’, which reminds me of Sol Invictus, the intimate songs ‘Der Falken Flug’ and ‘Im Norden’ or ‘Gluhend Geist’, with military drums and recorder. Most songs are rather short and are ended before I’ve noticed.

This album is recommended for everyone who is into neo-folk, especially for those who like the recent wave of German bands like Forseti, Orplid and Dies Natalis. You could criticize that the style on this cd is rather conservative and not very surprising, but the album contains so many good compositions and the songs are performed so well that I find ‘Flammende Welt’ one of the best releases of 2001.

artist: Darkwood
label: HeidenVolk
details: digipack, 13 tracks, 46 minutes