Dornenreich‘s Durch den Traum ("through the dream") took my breath away. It is a dark amalgamation of all that is Dornenreich. It takes the powerful grief and despair from Her von welken Nächten and sharpens it to a fine, pricking point. Then it adds the lazy melancholy, the slow sorrow found on Hexenwind, smashes both into tiny bits and mashes it all together again. Plus, there’s traditional black metal elements that you’ve known since (at least) Burzum. Who could resist?
The emotions in these sounds are silvery, fleeting and foglike, they once taste moist like the moss of the forest but at the next lick bitter as chalk. The reverberating electric guitars run shivers up your spine, then die off abruptly to let the whispered lyrics chase the shivers back down again.
Often these soundscapes are evoked at the same time, in layers one above the other. At other times one flowing into the next. Acoustic guitars here, electric ones there, but never clashing, always complementing each other in their dissonance or trivially harmonizing. It’s all masterfully woven and arranged, no sound dares to be heard at the wrong time, no whisper or scream has an unfitting intonation and yet the whole construction is lightweight, does not feel artificial or unwieldy, creates pressure only when pressure was meant.
If you have the slightest love for black or doom metal, you owe it to yourself to listen to this album. I can’t place it square in either category, but it deeply satisfies me in both. If I had to rate this on a scale of 10, it would be a 10. If you want to know whether it’s worth to get the limited edition digipak for the bonus track: Yes, it is 🙂