RATE YOUR MUSIC
I wrote already of the one-man band Oakenshield in conjunction with a folk compilation, and now about the LP too, thanks to Einheit Produktionen. Ben Corkhill's "band" came to life in 2004. His limited edition demo Gylfaginning first collided with sunlight in 2007, and our friend Ben continues it in the LP in question, not changing the story, and adding quite a few songs. The sound became much more sterile, melodic; the genre is something along the lines of folk and viking metal, saturated with some Scandinavian mythology - I couldn't tell to what extent could this choice be honest from an Englishman, or if he had a crisis of identity, but anyway Oakenshield's predecessor was Nifelhel, which only came out with one demo likewise edited by the author titled Upon the Blood of Ymir, then came the name-change (not that of the genre!) and the flame burns on in the form of the finished Gylfaginning...
The sound of the instruments gives away somewhat that one man's work is more than an hour, but it's very nicely and meticulously done, having important roles for the guitars, drums, vocals and synthesisers which create a nice atmosphere with its flutes and violins on top of the dynamic and slow themes. Musically this reminds me of Einherjer, but it's more soft and not as deep and monumental, but Irminsul and the melodic Folkeerth could be mentioned also, along with the Swedish Yggdrasil and the German Festung Nebelburg - the latter by the way is also a one-man formation, but approaches the genre from another culture's perspective. The vocals are a mix of beastly noises, sometimes with epic chorus and melodic songs, voices - that is, typical viking stuff, most of the songs are mid-tempo but not that riffing, most of the time songs just spread over you, sadly along with cultural stamps. The disc doesn't contain anything brand spanking new, although this genre isn't about that at all, more like about reminiscing about the past and by doing so, preserving and archiving it.
In its given style this isn't an exemplary work, but the lovers of the genre will easily find within it special flavours, plus the booklet is beautiful - the typical natural pictures, and the sound fits into the concept aswell. This means that everything is in its place, and if I were to forget about the artificial sound of the drums - which can't be spotted everywhere, then the English guy's fantasy and Scandinavian photocopy world gives a really nice picture. I hereby encourage folk artists and closet vikings to give it a go!