Daemonheim – Tidian (Naturmacht Productions)

Sunday, 4th May 2014
Rating: 8/10

If you like nature-raveled, wintery, mythological, pagan, and/or folkloric black metal, you are bound to dig Daemonheim’s latest album, Tidian. Exploring the roots of their homeland in Harz, Daemonheim write lyrics inspired by Germanic history, lore, legends, and woodland fantasies, and narrate these odes through empowering, violent black metal interwoven with melodic, old-world folk music elements. When all is told, Daemonheim’s music mingles between dark and haunting to graceful and enchanting, much like a Grimm’s fairytale.

There are only two musicians responsible for the mesmeric mesh of Tidian – b. (voices, guitars) and TH (guitars, bass, and effects). Judging by the unique characteristics expressed in their music, Daemonheim might be restricted from having any additional members in the group, as it would take away from the mercurial, intemperate duality created by b. and TH.

The first track, “Nachtflamme,” begins with a delightfully frightening atmosphere entrenched with blustering rain, harsh winds, and the eerie hoot of an owl, all collectively carving an obscure path toward a vibrant procession of black metal. The title song, “Tidian,” is perhaps the most intense work on the album. Slightly different from the others, which all superlatively lean towards melodic black metal, “Tidian” has a very substantial amount of doom and death metal qualities entwined in it. “Totenkuss” is another excellent example of Daemonheim’s work with its acoustic melodies, groovy blackened-doom rhythms, and passionate cascades of instrument and vocal verses, and a great demonstration of b.’s vocal range. Whether you understand German or not, it is enthralling to listen to the way b. recites his German poetry in nefarious snarls and daemonic gutturals.

Daemonheim craft heavy black metal cradled in melodic, folk, and natural-to-the-core intros, intervals, and outros. Seeing how Tidian meanders in variegated styles and moods, Daemonheim really do make more (or less) than metal. Though they venture into dark and foreboding depths of woodlands, they also step into a lighter edge of the forest with placid sounds like chirping birds. When considering metal, we can probably do without the chirping birds. That aside, Tidian is an outlandishly honorable work of black metal.

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