posted on 11/2006 By:
From the label that brought you several Tenhi releases, or, rather, made you pay for them, comes Germany’s Neun Welten – a folk-soaked, woodsy group that will appeal to a variety of people, especially those into bands such as Tenhi, Empyrium, Eluveitie, October Falls, Noltem, Agalloch, and even Drudkh. Vergessene Pfade (Forgotten Paths for English speakers), however, is always tasteful, refined, and smooth around the edges. And with the help of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, Jews harp, acoustic guitar, and drums, NW are able to conjure the forest ambience that they were presumably aiming for.
Vergessene Pfade lets the instruments do the talking most of the time, though “Walden” and “Svartalfheim” both feature female vocals, the latter also with occasional male interjections. “Heidenacht,” a live rendition, has wispy Haughm-like (Agalloch) growls, too. Thankfully, VP comes across as extremely calculated, which is actually positive since their music is so incredibly busy. In other words, the music of Neun Welten centers on nature via instrumental folk, and cramming vocals into every song would’ve overcrowded them, and potentially ruined the ambiance.
There’s even something for those who aren’t crazy about folk, as “Valg,” “Walden,” and “Nebelland” all contain compelling violin work reminiscent of Winds and Believer’s Dimensions, but aside from that, Neun Welten are most assuredly for a niche audience. You know who you are. Either way, as far as I’m concerned, this is very nicely done.
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