Saturday, 18 July 2009

WE WORSHIP...Volume 3 [V/A]

Band: HREFNESHOLT
Title: Compilation CD "We Worship...Underground Black Metal Compilation Volume 3"
Format: Double CDr set issued through the A.M.F. Productions (Bulgaria) label (year unknown), catalogue reference AMF030, featuring 35 tracks over 2 discs.
Edition: presumed unlimited

Track Listing:
The relevant track of the album is on CD1:
06. Feuertaufe 4.56

It's infrequently that Nazgul has a chance to review any Hrefnesholt output, as of all Alex's current projects this is perhaps the most sporadic of all to record/release material. It's always a pleasure therefore to come across something from this band, and on this compilation CD from deepest Bulgaria a rare nugget is to be unearthed!

Of the 35 bands on offer here - many from Eastern Europe (Russia, Bulgaria, Slovakia and the Ukraine) there is, on disc 1, a rather splendid piece from Hrefnesholt that is, as far as Nazgul is aware, unique to this particular compilation.

Sandwiched between some pretty primitive black metal is an acoustic number from Alex's project, which starts (and indeed ends) with the warm crackle of an open fire merrily burning before the gentle acoustic strumming of a guitar takes us to distant vistas of Viking ancestry and mythology.

It might sound somewhat improbable for a simple (though melodic and decidedly catchy) acoustic refrain to be able to render visions of a Nordic past, but prod me with a sharp stick if our hero hasn't done it again. You really get the feel of a campfire session of misty-eyed Vikings playing songs of their heritage, conjuring spirits of the night to reward them with victory in battle on the dawn of the following morning....

Of course, there will always be the nay-sayers who'll claim this isn't metal, isn't 'true' and shouldn't be allowed. For these small-minded types I would direct you towards the vast majority of the rest of this 2CDr release, where the noise volume increases in direct proportion to the lack of imagination and flair contained within.

What is of interest, however, are the odd exceptions to the rule and through this release the intrepid listener will come across some connections to past releases of other of Alex's work. We have Abandoned at the tail end of disc 1, for instance, who featured in a split tape with Uruk Hai and Moloch, who also have done spilt work with Uruk Hai, at the start of disc 2. And a special mention must go to Nargothrond from (of all places) Portugal who managed to record a song by the name of 'Uruk Hai', although you'll not be getting Hugin-quality work out of them to be fair....

I imagine you might still find some of these for sale here and there, and for one track - which is in essence what this review is all about - you might not want to pay a whole heap of beans for it. But then again.....it's a damn fine song, and one that in the mind of Nazgul keeps the Hrefnesholt flag flying high over the battlefield once again.

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