Review (and rumors): Dornenreich @ Paganfest 2010, Melkweg Amsterdam

Like I said in my Paganfest-review, the show Dornenreich played deserves a separate review. Within a very wide definition of folk- or pagan-metal Dornenreich might be labeled as such, but they didn’t really fit in with the rest of the bands of the festival. Their sound is different, much darker, they have been around a lot longer than the other bands and they operate on a much higher level, both musically and philosophically.

Dornenreich started out as a black metal band and improved on their unique, extremely angst-filled, cold and eerie style up to their 2001 masterpiece Her von welken Nächten. After four years of silence they made their comeback with Hexenwind, another masterpiece, but an abrupt change of style, going for a much more atmospheric, natural sound, which they developed further on Durch Den Traum and In Luft geritzt. This left the band with two faces; extreme black metal on the one hand and magical ambient ‘metal’ on the other. Because of this Dornenreich shows were either acoustic, with just guitar and violin or full-on metal, adding a drummer and distortion on the guitars. I’ve seen both types of shows and they’re both amazing, but today they played a mixed show!

They came on stage to the sounds of  a slowly progressing intro (from Hexenwind iirc) and a large applause. Eviga sat down on his stool with his acoustic guitar and foot-bells and Inve stood on the other side of the stage with his violin and inseparable grin. They played a great version of Freitanz, from their latest album. I forgot I was in a crowded concert-hall for a moment and closed my eyes to dream away to the mystical sound, but was rudely awakened a few moments later when the mosh-pit started, which was quite inappropriate for this song.

Image: Dornenreich acoustic (by HSMade)

After that Gilvan took his place behind the drum kit and they switched to their electric set, kicking off with a distorted version of Jagd, also from their latest (acoustic!) album. I think it’s amazing how they translate their acoustic songs to a metal version (and vice-versa). They did the same thing later on with Der Hexe nächtlich’ Ritt, from Hexenwind, as seen in the clip below:

Other highlight of the show were Schwarz schaut tiefsten Lichterglanz (video here) and Wer hat Angst vor Einsamkeit (video here) and a track from the upcoming album. They played a bit fast, but I guess that’s because they only had 45 minutes to play.

After their show I had a chance to talk to Eviga (for a short while only as he was really tired, this was their longest tour so far) and  Inve, who was in a very talkative mood. They signed the new live-CD/DVD Nachtreisen and the Mein Flügelschlag demo for me, making my Dornenreich-collection complete at last! More bands should sell their demos at shows, even if it’s a re-release like Eviga admitted this one is.

We talked a bit about the show and the tour. They were quite pleased about this tour, the reactions from the fans were very good and it helped them build their name and a larger audience for their upcoming album and tour. When I asked about the new album, they told me they have all the material ready for recording once the get back from the road. The album (Flammentriebe), will be heavy again, but I’m sure they won’t leave out influences from the last three albums.

They also told me that when the played in  Paris three days before, they met with Neige, (AlcestAmesoeurs, ex-Peste Noir), who was very interested in doing a tour featuring Alcest and Dornenreich. Keep in mind this is only a rumor, but they were thinking about the following set-up:

First an opening act, then a Dornenreich acoustic show, then Alcest and then a Dornenreich electric show! This would be one of the most amazing shows ever, so I told them to do anything possible to makes this tour come through. The combination of styles also makes it easier to get an appropriate support act for this tour, from acoustic/folk bands like Tenhi or Neun Welten, something mellow like Mely or The Vision Bleak, to something heavier, like Fen or Negura Bunget. No matter who they bring along or where they play, I’ll be there for sure!

I’ll leave you with a last clip from a track they didn’t play, but I hope they play it on the headline-tour:

Eigenwach,  the closest thing to a ‘title-track’ from Her von welken Nächten.

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One Response to “Review (and rumors): Dornenreich @ Paganfest 2010, Melkweg Amsterdam”

  1. […] Nocturnal Vagaries …rants, raves, reviews… « The future of publishing Review (and rumors): Dornenreich @ Paganfest 2010, Melkweg Amsterdam […]

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