One of the best things about reviewing music is the nearly unlimited access I have to it. I’m constantly exposed to new groups and styles and I take pleasure in educating myself in genera I’m not familiar with – one of those genera is pagan/folk metal. I find this music exhilarating. I appreciate how it meshes both style and ethnicity, how it welcomes the contributions of both men and women and how it seems completely unrestricted when it comes to instruments, songs or even structure; it’s truly avant-garde music.
Himiltungl is a pagan metal band from Gothenburg, Sweden that utilizes a lot of black and death metal elements. Although this is a one-person project, it comes off sounding like an entire band! I could find no information about this singular artist or his past works, which was discouraging at first but now I think it’s cool, this kind of mystique has an appeal unto itself and reminds me a lot of black metal artists who cover themselves in corpse-paint and hide their true identities from the public. We don’t know who or where they are…
The music of Himiltungl incorporates many metal elements. I think old school black metal meets folk metal is the main foundation, in the vein of early Borknagar or perhaps later efforts by Enslaved. This musical foundation is then layered in death metal with the thrashy appeal of Gothenburg bands like At the Gates or Dark Tranquility. The end result is an emotionally charged headbanging triumph.
Svart Ravin is a very impressive offering and contains some amazing melodies which truly stick with you, there’s one song in particular “Jamtlandica” that I find myself listening to on a daily basis. Other highlight tracks are: “Mörkernärd”, “Svart Ravin” and “Livskraft”.
If there is a downside to this release it’s that the songs aren’t sung in English. While I respect the idea of offering music in one’s ‘native tongue’, I openly admit a strong desire to understand the lyrics that accompany such great melodies. This album shows a lot of creativity and it would have been great to have offered it to a wider range of listeners, enabling them to understand/experience the complete offering as it was intended by the artist.
However, language barriers don’t at all dissuade me from recommending this release. The quality of music trumps any rational need for understanding. In an age where redundancy is the norm, this music stands out. I urge you to experience Himiltungl. \m/
3. Hata sitt eget blod
4. Höga fallet
5. Döda solars ljus
6. Svart ravin
11. Jamtlandica (Jamska)