Darkwood – The Final Hour

Usually bands release live albums somewhat later in their career, when they already have a long discography (and not much inspiration for new material). Darkwood is rather quick with releasing live material, but that has not been a bad decision. Most live versions are worthwhile listening to. Often they have a little more power than the studio versions, sounding clearer and more confident. Acoustic guitar, percussion, bass and strings are the basic instrumentation of the folky concerts of Darkwood, together with the introvert vocals of Henryk Vogel.

It takes a while before the album really takes off, after a ‘Prelude’ and the instrumental percussion track ‘Blancs Moussis’. Then some folky ballads follow: ‘The Dusk Draws Near’ with by sad strings, ‘Im Norden’ and ‘Forgotten Beauty’. ‘Der Falken Flug’ remains one of my favourites, also in this nice live version. Another favourite is ‘At the Stake’. Nostalgia and melancholy, themes from nature as well as quite some martial elements can be found in these songs. Most songs are rather tranquil and fragile, with emotional violin sounds. An exception is ‘Stiller Bund’, with martial drumming.

Three tracks were recorded at the Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig in 2002, three were recorded in a Swiss castle in 2002 and five are taken from a performance in May this year at the Black festival in Darmstadt. A live document which will please Darkwood fans.

artist: Darkwood
label: Heidenvolk
details: 11 tracks [HV05]