Friday, 10 December 2010

LAND OF FROST

Band: Nachtfalke
Title: Land Of Frost
Format: CD and vinyl release on the Christhunt Productions label (Germany) in 2003, catalogue reference CHP038. Full colour inlays and professional disc (CD), with white vinyl version also pressed. The musical introduction and some of lyrics are by Hugin.
Edition: presumed unlimited on CD, 500 copies on white vinyl

Track Listing:

1. The Windlords 07:55
2. Ragnarök 09:16
3. Berserker 04:30
4. Immortal Home 05:48
5. Men From North 04:38
6. Land of Frost 04:26
7. Intro 01:00
8. Ode to the Fallen One 09:34
9. Warrior's Nightmare I 01:50
10. Warrior's Nightmare II 06:26
11. Odin 00:24
12. Asgard Riders (Outro) 02:25

You may be wondering whether the onset of the mind-numbing cold of winter has caused Nazgul to forget the main theme of his Blog, given this post features an album from German band Nachtfalke. Fear not: as we know, whilst being nothing but prolific through his own projects and musical ventures Hugin still finds time to occasionally appear as a guest on the recordings of other bands.

We've seen from past Blog entries that he has, for example, worked with Brazilian viking metallers Hugin Munin and with Lord Messir's Latvian horde Dark Domination. So here we have another name that can be added to this distinguished list of collaborations: Nachtfalke (literally, Night Falcon). Here, on their 2003 release 'Land Of Frost', our man in Austria provides the lyrics to two of the songs on offer - 'The Windlords', and title-track 'Land of Frost - and contributes the spoken word/musicial intro and outro to 'The Windlords' to boot.

So what of Nachtfalke themselves: "are they in the mould of Uruk Hai, Hrefnesholt, WACH...?", I can hear you asking. Well, here's a rather good review of this album culled from Metal Archives to give you an overall impression:

"This album contains six songs from the German black metal band, performing epic and viking styled/themed music. This is very guitar oriented as a whole, but as all the listeners of Moonblood know (same main man in both bands), the creator behind this is more than capable of composing with the guitar. The music is mainly mid-tempo or faster but not ultra-fast at any time. How bursting Nachtfalke's main guitar riffs can be is introduced with the first song The Windlords. This song has simple but very dominating and melancholic main guitar melodies that create a feel of ancient barbarity. At times this guitar work in The Windlords reminds me of Deathspell Omega as they have raged their way through similar compositional paths.

The style of Nachtfalke is also very close to later-era Bathory with both bands performing some of the best viking metal moments. "Land of Frost" sounds the best for this kind of genre. The instruments are not too clean or perfected, it is a little bit raw and rusty as it is meant to be. The drums are quite simple in many songs but at the same time they help the songs to maintain their barbaric and dark feel. The album is very convincing for those internal travellers who want their music full of emotion and atmosphere."

And hold that Bathory thought in mind, for the musical side of Hugin's musical introduction on 'The Windlords' is more than a little reminiscent of the classic 'Odens Ride Over Nordland' track from Bathory's "Blood, Fire, Death' release: that distant echo of neighing horses over trampled ground, together with remote and almost ghostly sounds of battle, is a respectful and fitting touch to the mood of the album generally and to the sadly deceased Quorthon.

In 'The Windlords' Hugin's introductory paragraph is spoken word, with the main song kicking in immediately afterwards with an almighty roar of mead-fuelled power. To close out the track, another shorter spoken word section is spoken. The full lyrics to the song are reproduced here:

There was a darkness over the valleys of the north

two ravens high and far off above the battlefields
the black-winged messengers watched
the fighting man and their blood-red axes
the windlords of Asgard
The springing and dying
the song and the weeping
and the snow everlasting groan
of overburdened stone
so two ravens – the windlords
accompany all the brave warriors
from endless battle to battle
with power, with flesh and steel
High and mighty – the lords in the sky
back to Asgard – the ravens will fly
claws of Metal – shining in the night
strength and honour – in every fight
With a message for Odin
they spread their wings again
high over the northern mountains
across the deep and darkest seas
they took their victory back
back to the golden halls of Valhall
to endless fights and battles
to the glorius power of flesh and steel
Storm…wind…thunder…and lightning
the force of the windlords

For completeness sake, Hugin's lyrics to the 'Land of Frost' track are shown below:

Hail – to our ancient gods – hail – hail – hail

Hail – to my fathers sword – hail – hail – hail
Set sail warriors onward to fight
bound for glory bound for right
in Muspellheim we raise our swords
in the name of all the ancient lords
only the strong shall here prevail
warriors of evil warriors of Hel
none of the battles can be lost
in a land of fire in the land of frost
In a land where no life dwells
in a land where’s the dead alive
in a land of thousand winter nights
in a land of eternal frost and ice
Hail – to our ancient gods – hail – hail – hail
Hail – to my fathers sword – hail – hail – hail
All the pain and suffer is going stronger
stand up and fight we can’t wait no longer
they killing they raping day by day
the army of the god takes all life away
pounding the world with a fist of steel
there is no fear of pain we feel
none of the battles can be lost
in a land of fire in a land of frost
Hail – to our ancient gods – hail – hail – hail
Hail – to my fathers sword – hail – hail – hail
Over old hills and far away
in thousands of grim battles
and army of dead with only one aim
killing all the enemies
an army of the dead in the land of frost
Called: The Einherjer
Hail – to our ancient gods – hail – hail – hail
Hail – to my fathers sword – hail – hail – hail

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