Genre : Mostly instrumental neofolk
Release : February 18th 2014 on Temple of Torturous.
As the time flies, I find it harder and harder to find good neofolk releases. Actually, I often enjoy neofolk tracks from folk black metal albums more than raw neofolk ones. However, when I realized Nebelung were about to release a new album six years after their last release, Vigil, I was immediately hooked, as they quite recently participated to Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer and Whom the moon a nightsong sings (2010) with two excellent tracks : 'Graue Nacht' and 'Ich würd es hören'.
On both the aforementioned tracks and previous releases, Nebelung used to incorporate german lyrics through deep male vocals, with more or less success from track to track ('Graue Nacht' being amazing in every possible way, though). However, a big change from their previous works is the instrumental direction of Palingenesis. Well, mostly instrumental to be precise, as there still are some whispered words on 'Mittwinter' and 'Polaris', but they're definitely not what you hear first. What you actually hear first is straight clean guitars and cello neofolk. Yeah, simple as that, even though it wouldn't be that great with so few things. Quietly moving behind the main instruments, there are some harmoniums, harps, chimes, bells, drums, whispered words and more. To put in a nut shell, Nebelung creates big arrangements while keeping the essence of neofolk's minimalism. A great work if you ask me, and this 50 minutes long new album doesn't sound boring a single second, which is often an issue within the genre. It actually flows slowly, quietly, with clever composition and warm, beautiful melodies. That new release also shines with autumnal melancholy, it even surpasses most of the neofolk releases for that case. And more than sounds, Palingenesis really is a painting : a picture of a autumnal wood, with its yellow to red leaves and its evening sunrays. Or a picture of a winter forest covered with fog. Or whatever else you think which fits its soothing, enchanting atmospheres. Nebelung really evokes what the genre is all about.
Giving Palingenesis a clap isn't enough to praise its greatness. Nebelung successfully crafted a perfect neofolk album with all the essence and mood it needs. An album not to listen in a rush, but to relax with. Melancholic cellos, peaceful guitars, quiet melodies and serene pictures are everything you need for a stunning neofolk release but this minimalistic recipe isn't an easy thing to arrange either, and that's why Nebelung can be acclaimed for completely mastering it with this third album. Kudos, masters!
Personal highlights : Mittwinter, Wandlung.
Links : Facebook, Bandcamp.