Conceptual records are the ones I like most, as the artists take their time to compose them and that normally means, that they are of high quality. The chance is enhanced, when the artist writes about something he has experienced himself (or herself of course). Femundsmarka sets the experience of a journey into music, but is it really a qualitative record? Let’s find out…
Waldgeflüster is a side-project of Winterherz, who some of you might know from his main band Scarcross (which is at least known in the germanophone countries). Femundsmarka is his second release, his debut Herbstklagen could draw a lot attention to it. Before we start, I will give short information on the making-of of the record. Winterherz and his brother P. made a trekking journey through the Femundsmarka park and the experiences they made were so intense, that they wanted to set this journey to music. The result will now be analyzed.
As soon as the first song Prolog: Aufbruch starts you can hear that Winterherz and P. really know how to play their instruments, because the melodic introduction is perfect. They use samples like the sound of the sea and combine thoes with clearly structured acoustic melodies which might remind you a bit of Andy McKee in terms of style. All instrumentals of the record are a bit overlong, but they are essential for the concept of the record, as they build the perfect introduction, transition and outro of it. The high quality is easy to demonstrate, as Interludium II: Nacht could easily outtake a lot of DSBM bands with its depressive style and those desperate growls.
All of those interplays are illustrating a short spotlight of the journey, while the chapters are giving a good overview of longer segments of their journey. The concept of these songs is clearly diffrent from the other interludes and so is the orchestration: The chapters are harsher. To hold a certain level of structure there are a lot of samples and acoustic passages interspersed and so you have to state that they are kind of progressive.
Alone the first chapter out of three reveals such a high spectrum of orchestration/vocalisation, that you could easily be drawn into the atmosphere. Sadly, it reveals a negative point as well: The drums are just programmed [A/N: please look below], which adds something artificial to the sound that will not really fit into the concept. The three chapters are a bit akin in terms of structure and melody, but that supports the concept of the record and should not really affect the rating. The interludes are compensating a bit for the lack of variation as they are completely different.
Beside the great composition and production one should praise the vocals which are done by both brothers Winterherz and P., as they complement each other. Both voices are matching really good and the mix of clear vocals and growls they present is really good, too.
After a short time I needed to get used to the CD it really blew my mind away. The interludes are so different, that you can’t complain about a lack of variation there, but this doesn’t apply for the three chapters. You can reconstruct their journey in your mind while listening to the record, which is quite cool. The orchestration is done perfectly and the only two negative aspects are the programmed drums [A/N please look below] and the slight lack of variation in the chapters (although that might be conceptual). Winterherz and P. just released one of the best records of this year and I hope they will please us with more in the future!
Date of release: 27 Mai 2011
[Note]: Winterherz stated, that the drums were played by the drummer of Scarcross, so they were NOT programmed. What remains is the fact, that they lack a certain vividness which adds the artificial sound.
|2.||Kapitel I: Seenland||10:28|
|3.||Interludium I: Rast||03:21|
|4.||Kapitel II: Steinwüsten||10:16|
|5.||Interludium II: Nacht||06:08|
|6.||Kapitel III: Fichtenhain||11:48|