Sonne Hagal – Dygel

Two new releases of German dark folk act Sonne Hagal at about the same time: a mcd called “Nidar” on Forseti’s Grunwald label as well as this 7″ single on Eis & Licht. Though previous vinyl singles of Sonne Hagal often had an experimental ambient character, “Dygel” is clearly devoted to acoustic folk. That’s probably also what people expect when you collaborate with Matt Howden and Ian Read (Fire + Ice).

The single comes in a nice down-to-earth green fold-out sleeve with the lyrics printed inside. There are two songs present, both with English texts. The first track, ‘To the muses’, combines an acoustic guitar melody with waves of dark ambient noises in the background, as well as sparse violin sounds by Matt Howden, who also produced this single in his Redroom studio. Frontman Oliver sings this dark and melancholic song in a restrained, sober manner.

‘The horse with no name’ (no cover of the classic 70’s rock hit by America) has a less experimental structure, it’s mainly carried by guitar and violin. And of course by the unmistaken voice of Ian Read, who puts in a lot of emotion in this historical tale about three kingly brothers, as not many singers like he can do. A classic apocalyptic folk song, in the best tradition of Fire + Ice and Sol Invictus (the bass eruptions remind me of Karl Blake).
A succeeded single with 10 minutes of fine dark folk music.

artist: Sonne Hagal
label: Eis & Licht
details: 7", two tracks, 2005 [Eis037] lim. 500 copies