Review by Jason Guest
Born in the autumn of 2004, Nebelung’s acoustic darkfolk has a meditative and ethereal beauty about it that simply has to be experienced. Waxing lyrical about trickling streams and babbling brooks, about towering trees, about vast, unending meadows hooded by infinite skies and gentle clouds, and humanity’s oneness with nature would go some way to approximating the depth and feeling in their works (and sound utterly pretentious) but it would still fall shy of capturing its essence. And latest album, Palingenesis is no exception.
Opening track ‘Mittwinter’ takes its time to reveal its majesty in full, instead unveiling it through gentle repetition and softly added layers that with the addition of percussion and strings gives it an earthy feel like no other. With ‘Nachtgewalt’, the air of solitude is augmented by a solemnity and an ever-deepening mystical atmosphere that continues to unfurl through the rest of the album and informs repeat listens. While five of the six tracks are between six and ten minutes long and manage to captivate and sustain interest and intrigue, it’s with the fifteen minute ‘Wandlung’ that Nebelung truly impress. When this track begins, we have been enthralled by what has preceded it and are already deeply immersed in Nebelung’s captivating realm, but here the transportation to some other place is complete and the listener becomes all that Palingenesis breathes. And so, after the ten-minute wonder ‘Innerlichkeit’, there’s only one thing to do: press play again.
While most metal bands use acoustic instruments for clichéd introductions or extended mid-sections where they get the opportunity to demonstrate their musicianship, Nebelung – once a blues/metal band – saw the light and harnessed its subtleties. Their previous albums all bear something unique yet evasive when attempting to define them. Palingenesis continues along that leafy path. Truly beautiful.
8 out of 10