Darkwood – Notwendfeuer

At a time when authentic neo-folk seems more dead than alive Darkwood comes up with a new and very strong album, entitled ‘Notwendfeuer’. This record is without a doubt the best the project has released so far. It is a very typical German neo-folk album but despite that one that is all but disappointing.

Of course all classic elements are here: tranquil and simple acoustic guitar melodies, dark romantic singing, atmospheric instrumentation by violin, cello and accordion and some subtle but powerful drumming in the background.

The songs might be simple but very strong and effective. Just after hearing them one time you guaranteed have some favorite tracks, which have settled in your head. Fantastic are ‘Verlorenes Heer’ and ‘Ostenfeld’. Beautiful is the subtle trumpet sound on ‘Feuerkreis’ and the troubadour mood of ‘ Wintermärchen’ is simple brilliant.

Maybe more outspoken as before is the image of Darkwood. The cover and references in the music are possible a bit more explicit as before. On ‘Notwendfeuer’ of course the themes are youth, struggle and honour. This time work from German writers as Otto Ernst, Georg Trakl are Karl Bröger is referred to. Darkwood pays tribute to these writers in a romanticized way because of their anti-modern attitude.

By doing this the music is lifted from to a higher level, because the themes of these writers fit the mood of the songs so perfectly. By keeping true the themes and style of German neo-folk, and even pushing it a bit, Darkwood has made one of the best albums in the genre and leaves (once) like-minded bands like Forseti, Sonne Hagal and Orplid far behind.

artist: Darkwood
label: Heidenvolk
details: cd, 10 tracks [HV10]