jeudi 15 août 2013

Darkenhöld - Echoes from the Stone Keeper

I'm pretty sure everybody out there already dreamt about being a hero, a great warrior, swinging his sword at hordes of ignominious, evil creatures, and killing the greatest villain Earth has never seen just for the sake of saving a kingdom, or a random princess' ass (without even having sex with her afterwards, how sad), am I right ?
Don't even try to deny it, I wouldn't believe you anyway.

So, yeah, dreaming about that kind of shit is quite entertaining, but it lacks something, don't you think ? But, what could it be...?
Oh ! A fucking soundtrack !
Since we're not planning on doing a remake of The Lord of the Rings, no need to call Howard Shore. The latest album of Darkenhöld will fit perfectly to the "heroïc-fantasy" theme.

Are you ready to go on a legendary journey with me ?

So, Echoes from the Stone Keeper is the sophomore album of Darkenhöld (which means, more or less, Dark Castle - Dark + Stronghold), a french band from Nice (PACA), released in 2012 by Those Oppose Records, a label specialised in Black Metal.
Aldébaran, the founder of this unholy combo, is a well known member of the french Black Metal scene, since he plays or used to play in multiple great bands, like Artefact (which released Magic Spellcraft, one of the best Melodic BM albums ever made, in my opinion), Fhoi Myore (as a live member) and Ysengrin (their last album, To Endotaton, is really great too).
But I think Aldébaran wouldn't like to see his current band compared to the other ones, so I won't talk about them anymore.

First things first : Echoes from the Stone Keeper is epic.
Whenever I listen to this album, no matter if it's day or night, if the weather is good or bad, if I'm taking a dump or reading a book, I feel like an urge to grab a fucking Zweihänder, get on a horse, ride like the wind to an unknown destination, explore obscure dungeons, chop dragon heads off and split trolls in two to find some forgotten treasures.
Yeah, it's THAT kind of epicness.

Darkenhöld's objective is to revive the flame of a long-lost (Satyricon's Dark Medieval Times-like) Black Metal spirit, inspired by old legends coming right from the Dark Ages (that's why they labelled themselves as a Medieval -and not Melodic- Black Metal band), and for the least I can say, this legacy is well preserved with these guys.
Echoes from the Stone Keeper is dense and very aggressive, with harpy-like screeching vocals, fast, sharp riffs scattered all over the place and brutal blast-beats, but also very melodic, with some gorgeous acoustic parts, and a good amount of great synth-based atmospheres, surrounding you throughout the whole album.
On its side, the overall production is really great too. Not too clean, because it wouldn't fit to their style, but well-defined enough to clearly hear every instrument, and that's a good point.

Long story short : this album is highly recommended to any fan of good ol' Immortal, Satyricon, Summoning or Dissection acts. So if you don't know how tu use your fucking money, BUY IT.

Available here or here (if you want to buy their two albums at discount price).

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