Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Friday, September 17, 2021

Review: Waldgeflüster – Dahoam

Label: AOP Records

Date: September 24th, 2021

I guess this is another one of those bands you can hardly describe with simple words. In theory it should be easy though. A German band performing black metal is a regular occurrence since mid-1990’s. A whole arena of awesome bands arose from the ever-fruitful Teutonic scene. Still, there’s this new tendency. A whole branch of it. Pretty big one at that and growing with increasing pace.

All of them somehow lead by Harakiri For The Sky. Okay, they are Austrians, but we can hardly separate the two, right? A certain dictator from the 1930’s-1940’s had a similar idea. However, his destiny was to fail miserably, which is not to be the same for these boys.

There’s probably a lineage stemming back to early Summoning, too. But I’m not here to theoretically explain where Waldgeflüster comes from. Their influences will be obvious to each and every one of you, as soon as you give them a chance. And you should do just that! Why? Here’s why!

Starting from the extremely unusual concept of this record. I’m completely unfamiliar with German language. Even more so with the Bavarian dialect used here. Unfortunate circumstance, for sure, as I would like to hear exactly what the thoughts of Mr. Winterherz actually are, on the given topic of home. Correct me if I’m wrong, but there just hasn’t been a theme like this one in black metal. Even in heavy metal in general, if you don’t count “Mama, I’m Coming Home” and “Home Sweet Home” as quite home-bound songs.

What I’m given to understand, from the promo kit, is what drove Waldgeflüster to dwell on the topic. It’s actually far more than a house or a flat, though it could be construed with such a simple denomination. It is most definitely not a nationalistic notion, as the borderlines on the map are useless constructions of possession-based society.

The actual target of Mr. Winterherz’s thoughts is the familiar place. One which you grew on and which, in turn, grew on you. Be it near or far, geographically, whether it brings back warm memories or horrific events, a place to which you are bound. One way or another.

Food for thought, absolutely!

As the band is, by their own description, “nature-bound”, the background for “Dahoam” is the landscape of Bavaria. As far as I understood, the songs are named after places its creator calls his home. Also, there should be a map of these places included in the album packaging, if I’m not terribly wrong. Yet another unusual, but excellent idea!

So, how does Waldgeflüster present these landmarks, in terms of music? With a sort of black metal that does not come easy. Sure, you can say it reminds you of the bands I mentioned above. There might just be a few more, and not just from the German-speaking areas. But what is much more important than the roots of the musical style is the creative effort done by this German quintet in order to present these foundations in their own way. Thus, they looked to invoke the listeners’ feelings into the direction they wanted.

Waldgeflüster’s music is warm. Sort of cosy, while at the same time being epic and fairly monumental. The picture in my head, in particular, is that of a cabin in the woods, far away from electricity, phone lines or mobile reception. A cabin with a view, but at the same time with as little wall area as it is necessary to hold the roof on top of it. The roof with a skyline, of course.

The harmonic guitar performance, throughout the record, is what brings about these images. Along with some unexpected instruments howling from the distance. Accordion, if I’m not terribly mistaken. Wind instruments, for sure. Keyboards, too. Some sampled natural sounds appear on occasion, just to increase the feeling of vastness of open space around. Wide variety of voices encompass the whole, almost echoing through the album.

But these are all segments (and there are many more than I mentioned) of a much wider picture painted on “Dahoam”. The band offers a collection of songs that flow through the listener as a mountain stream. Rocky bed and all, with twists and turns about. One moment it is calm and almost immovable, while at the next turn there is a rattle and a rapid with a waterfall in the making. But it is all tied together and floating steadily on. It’s the same water all the way through.

Furthermore (I just can’t seem to finish this review, right?), the record just invites you to spin it again. Just notice the introductory song and the finishing one. I see that “Dahoam” is set to be released on vinyl, too. I believe that is the wrong decision, since an album like this does not deserve a timeout to flip the plastic. It will break the flow.

“Black metal – emotional, profound, nature-bound”, indeed! Breathe it in, I summon thee!