Nebelung – Palingenesis (Temple of Torturous)

Sunday, 19th January 2014
Rating: 9.5/10

Plenty of metal occupies itself with the forces of destruction and the eventual eradication of all human life from Earth. Enter Nebelung and their entrancing, haunting, melancholy-to-the-max style of dark folk (seriously, this is not metal) with Pallingenesis, a six-track & 51 minute work of taking a look into life after people and the subsequent reclamation of the world by nature. It would be cliché to the max to mention it as likely almost every review to come near this thing will make a comment on it, but the woodsy vibe that this thing seethes with is pervasive and hypnotic.

Acoustic guitar, cello, and often sparse percussion are the mainstays here, each song not all that dissimilar from opener “Mittwinter,”  a work built upon repetitious layers that gradually coalesce into mighty spires and wither away with the same ease. Even sparser vocals are sprinkled throughout, much less so than on most of the group’s previous work as the focus here is really on the hypnotic structure of the songs- layers and layers of gradual change, “Polaris” being a beautiful example. A particular melody usually sets the tone and is expanded to and added upon as the song progresses, waxing and waning while it slowly meanders to its often resigned conclusion.

Each of the tracks can be considered lengthy as they all pass the six minute mark, but the true standout is the epic 15-minute master-class in slow-burn that is “Wandlung,” an achingly beautiful piece that evolves the slowest of all, exacting as much as it can on the listener before subtly shifting in direction or fading away completely. The beauty on hand throughout each of these pieces really cannot be stressed enough, whether taken individually or as a beautiful whole. It’s inevitable to be overwhelmed with images of snow-swept ruins and the chilly sterility of a world gone back to nature when listening to Palingenesis, and justly so. Expand this winter, embrace the opportunities of a new year and go out and find this album, for it won’t take long and your world will change as it unfurls itself around you.

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