Saturday, 5 December 2009


Title: Furchtelmandl
Format: Tape-only release on W.A.R. Productions (Austria) in 2009. Double-sided colour inlay, album recorded on both sides of tape.
Edition: Hand-numbered edition of only 6 copies

Track Listing:

01. Furchtelmandl 27.38

Always a cause for celebration, a new Hrefenesholt release is unleashed upon the world! Nazgul has a soft spot for this particular project of Alex's, so it's great to see a spate of recent recordings from the band in 2009.

Released in a tiny pressing of only 6 copies, which seemingly sold-out at almost the exact moment that the title was first advertised by Alex (Nazgul's copy is #4), this is a sure-fire future collectible and - unless a future Hrefensholt compilation brings the track back from obscurity - is destined to be one of the hardest releases from the band to lay your hands on.

Somewhat epic in length at a touch under half an hour, it's actually a very hard song to put into words. The best analogy Nazgul can offer is that the whole piece brings to mind sitting in the deep woods being initiated by a tribal elder into the arcane secrets of a mysterious sect - the track is primarily scored using what sound like pretty authentic folk instruments with a smattering of keyboards too, and is narrated in a deep, sonorous voice (in German) inducing a semi-hypnotic effect.

It's a combination of the pagan / ambient aspects of the band's history with a more cultured musical backdrop, effectively a neo-folk style accompaniment if you will. Nazgul thinks it works rather well, and despite the length of the track there is plenty of musical innovation and soothing harmonies on it to keep the listener entertained and interested throughout.

Sometimes words aren't enough to express the nature of music, and I fear that this is one of those occasions. Sadly, however, Nazgul is not in a position to suggest you go out and buy a copy for yourself as there aren't any left for sale at this point. All of which may make the cynical suggest that this review is largely redundant, but there Nazgul would take issue as his suspicion is that this limited release may herald a new era of Hrefnesholt music, which will become more widely available in due course. Think of the transition of B-Machina after Max joined, from the old style industrial approach to newer neo-folk sensibilities, signalled by the release of a few very limited edition mini-CD demos such as "Other Visions" or "The Iron Stallion".

Perhaps "Furchtelmandl" is destined to perform the same transitional role for Hrefnesholt...? Only time will tell.

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