Dorn – Spiegel Der Unendlichkeit

Gothic viking metal? Is such a thing even possible? According to Dorn’s ‘Spiegel Der Unendlichkeit’, it most certainly is, and it can be done in an enjoyable fashion. While Dorn’s music is typically described as black/doom metal, I find the sound of songs like ‘Windtränen’ to be unmistakably folk/viking in nature. Not that this is in any way a detriment; just a point of confusion. Granted, this is the first Dorn release I’ve heard, but most certainly the music here leans more towards Finntroll than Nortt.

The ten tracks on this LP are an enjoyable, cold journey that is as much sing-a-long as gothic theatricism. The music is not highly unique: melodic death-based riffing over traditional extreme metal drumming and gruff, viking-style growls. The latter are quite enjoyable, with that brusque Scandinavian quality that makes bands like Månegarm so very pleasing. Keys are used frequently to grant atmosphere, gracefully bowing out when appropriate and in general being employed quite effectively in the general sphere of the music. However, I’d say the best portions of this album are on songs like ‘Winterwacht’, where they let the folk influences come out fully, be it through rolling viking rhythms or careful acoustic guitars or enormous, epic cymbal crashes. It’s not original, but it is damned well executed for what it is.

All instruments are played cleanly and professionally, and the same descriptors could be used for the production. Even the synthestra, frequently overbearing in many contemporary artists, is kept even with the rest of the instruments, allowing it to augment but not dominate the music. In general, Dorn is smart enough not to overextend themselves, resulting in music that is rarely daring, but even more rarely mistaken when it comes to melody and composition. Presuming that you can accept it for what it is, ‘Spiegel Der Unendlichkeit’ is an extremely enjoyable release for the average metalhead.

Of course, this isn’t to say that Dorn’s music is entirely non-distinctive. Far from it: the delicate use of electronic effects on songs such as ‘Eisglanz’ works wonders to give the songs a bit more definition than there otherwise would, and is a fine musical addition in its own right. Overall, ‘Spiegel Der Unendlichkeit’, while not incredible, is a fine piece of music that no metalhead would regret purchasing. Just remember that tradition does not equal stagnation.

(Originally written for http://www.vampire-magazine.com)

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~ by noktorn on February 10, 2007.

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