March 5, 2013

Klabautamann - Our Journey Through the Woods

To celebrate its 10th anniversary Klabautamann has decided to make their debut album available as name your price for the rest of the year. Looking at the whimsical cover to 2003's Our Journey through the Woods you might believe this to be humppa-style folk metal. Fortunately (at least for this reviewer) you would be wrong.

This is melodic, thrashy, and even progressive black metal. And yes there are folk overtones. They stem mostly from the use of lush acoustic guitars, that are very well integrated with the songs; even appearing om top of double bass and blast beats to great effect. The production is very natural sounding, the drums are a little lower, and the bass higher in the mix than usual. The bass tone and playing is straight out of some 70's prog band; you'll hear more bass playing on this album than on many, many black metal albums put together.

The intro is too long, but then it's thrash black metal time with Der Nöck. The third song Trolldance is also a feisty affair, only more melodic and with more of the lush acoustics. Next is the first album highlight Rabenmorgen; simply a wonderful song (also the one you hear when you click the player. Good choice). A good example of how good clean instrumentation can sound alongside more traditional black metal playing.

I could continues to give you examples (like, check out the bass playing in Seaghost), but suffice it to say that the album moves from strength to strength, concluding with the epic Autumn's Breath. I'll leave you with these parting words from Michael Wuensch of Last Rites: Our Journey Through the Woods delivers what I believe all good fairy tales should deliver: imaginative stories unfolded through a nice balance of light AND dark.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

  1. A very cool release I have never heard of. Thanks for the review. I just paid a little for the album. Everyone deserves at least a little money, especially for something of this caliber! I suggest others do the same and show your respect for these bands!