Friday, 22 July 2016
HAIL VICTORY TEUTONIA
Title: Hail Victory Teutonia
Format: Full length album released in 2001 on the Christhunt Productions label (Germany) by this German band, again with input from Hugin: this time, through contributed lyrics to one of the songs.
01. Ode to the Fallen One 10:34
02. Searched and Found 07:41
03. Asgard Riders 03:04
04. War in Asgard 08:08
05. Man of Iron (Bathory cover) 02:23
06. Warrior's Nightmare 07:24
07. Vikingdance (Under the Flag of Odin's Son) 02:16
08. To Honour Wotan 13:45
09. Nordic Warriors 06:49
10. Hail Teutonia 12:19
11. You're So Wrong (Black Widow cover) 03:36
For some strange reason when Nazgul covered off previous contributions by Hugin to Nachtfalke releases, this particular album slipped through the net. Let's remedy that situation quickly, and note the contribution of lyrics by our Austrian hero to track 8 on this CD, 'To Honour Wotan'.
It's quite interesting, actually, that within the album booklet the lyrics themselves (which may not be exactly how they were originally written by Hugin, to be fair) interchangeably reference both Wotan and Wodan. So are these 2 characters indeed one and the same?
Well, yes, is the short answer! In wider Germanic mythology and paganism, Odin was known in Old English as Wōden, in Old Saxon as Wōdan, and in Old High German as Wuotan or Wōtan, all stemming from the reconstructed Proto-Germanic theonym 'Wōđanaz'. So we've all learned something today, not least the word 'theonym' which is a form of proper noun that refers to a deity.
He's a busy guy, this Hugin fellow: not content with releasing a multitude of his own works he - as regular readers will know - has a habit of contributing songs to other band's albums, artwork for their releases, or lyrics to their songs as in this case. It makes Nazgul's collecting life a constant and interesting challenge to try to keep up with it all, let me tell you!
Rather handily, there's a review of the entire "Hail Victory Tetonia" album online at Metal Archives, which seems as good a way to round off today's post as any referencing as it does the song in question:
'This is a side project of Occulta Mors, of Moonblood. Nachtfalke play Viking metal in the vein of Bathory's "Hammerheart".
Musically, this album is superb. The keys form the main melodies, much as in later works of Graveland. The backing guitar is mostly relegated to the bottom of the mix, though this isn't a bad thing, because the grating, buzzsaw-like guitar sound makes the perfect backdrop for the epic song-writing at hand. Lead guitar mostly adopts a high tone, and there are some stirring solos here. Last but not least, there's even a little acoustic guitar in places. The drums are well played, though they're mostly slow paced, as befits this sort of music. The production is a little raw, but quite listenable.
The vocals are a major high point, some of the best metal vocals I've heard in years. The main voice used is a deep, grunting growl, but high screams and even clean vocals are also used, to amazing effect. It's especially impressive considering that this is a one-man band! In places, two or more voices sing at once, creating an almost choral effect that's quite effective, but never overused.
As good as the musicianship on "Hail Victory Teutonia" is, the song-writing is even better. Most of these songs are longer than 6 minutes, and the disc itself is more than 70, yet I can listen again and again and never get bored. Some songs aren't as good as others, but the overall quality is quite high. "To Honour Wotan" in particular is an instant classic to me, with its martial atmosphere, echoing vocals, and great acoustic sections.
I'd say that this is one of the best Viking style black metal albums since Bathory's "Blood on Ice". It's better than Hades, better than Morrigan, and better than most of Graveland's Bathory-style output. Anyone who likes this style will most likely worship this album. Seek this out immediately.
Standout tracks: "Ode to the Fallen One", "To Honour Wotan", "Hail Teutonia'