|There are only two negative remarks about this magnificent release: It's way too short for my liking, I could have listened to a few hours of this perfect folklore. Besides that, there won't be anymore of it, because this is Empyrium's swansong.|
Being done with that little quasi-criticism, I can get down to business. This is one of the best releases this year has seen, in any genre. The final release does not disappoint me in any way. The music has evolved as a more varied exponent of that heard on 'Where at Night the Wood Grouse Plays'. Empyrium have added a string quartet, a tenor, acoustic drums and dug up the good old black metal screams in a few places. Don't get me wrong, this is not a metal release, but neither is it mere acoustic guitar prattle. 'Weiland' is far beyond that. This is 50 minutes of the most evocative music you'll ever hear. Depicting the beauty and mysticism of nature in three chapters is the aim, and the result is a grand musical painting. Moonlight on the trees, the soft ripples in the water, the ghosts in the forest, the mist on the moor.
Chapter I depicts the "moormood", and it has six songs of the calm plains. 'Fortgang' stands out because of the great piece at the end where the listener is pleasantly surprised by Schwadorf's screams for the first time since 'Songs of Moors and Misty Fields'.
Chapter II is a single 14-minute epic tale about the forest in all its splendour. Not only the beauty, but also the thrill and fear of being lost in a dark wood. Especially the string section in the middle of the track (on 'Drei Auszüge...' it is called 'Einsam, Verlorn, Den Lieben Entrissen') is particularly beautiful.
Chapter III is the part of Empyrium we haven't heard before. It is a chapter full of songs about the waters of the earth, accompanied by piano melodies. 'Die Schwäne im Schilf' puts forth the screams one final time, and thereafter the album slowly calms down until it is finished with the almost ambient 'Das Blau-kristallne Kämmerlein'.
Concluding, everything on this release is great. Thomas Helm, the new tenor, has a great voice, which would also be suitable for accompanying Schubert's work, for example. The string quartet adds variation where needed and complements the music where acoustic guitars alone cannot. The piano in Chapter III serves as the surprising element, compared with the older work. The artwork is once again sombre, but beautiful. In short, if you do not own this album, you should at least give it a try (in other words: buy it!). This may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is pure art, natural mysticism at its moment supreme. Romanticism is still alive!
Kapittel I: Heidestimmung
1. Kein Hirtenfeuer Glimmt Mehr
5. A Capella
Kapittel II: Waldpoesie
Kapittel III: Wassergeister
8. Die Schwäne Im Schilf
11. Der Nix
12. Das Blau-kristallne Kämmerlein
Duration : Approx. 51 minutes
Visit the Empyrium bandpage.