I gotta say, it’s just about damn impossible to execute the blackened folk metal concept as well as this. Himmelsfall in particular is near the peak of the melodic form of this genre of black metal, and normally I would hope the entire album would be exactly like that song. But while I generally consider consistently executing a single idea really well each time a huge plus, I think there comes a point where an album is a one trick pony who’s charm starts to wear off over time.
While indeed Gesichter des Todes’, and the second half’s generally slower pace help this, I feel like I’m listening to quite literally the same song over and over again, with really only some slight tempo differences to differentiate the tracks. I’m normally against lots of folk interludes in a record, but I think one or two 2 minute one’s would’ve really done this this album wonders, just to break up the monotony a bit.
Don’t get me wrong, despite my pretty major complaints this is fucking fantastic. As I said, I dare you to find a better blackened folk metal song than Himmelsfall, because I’d put money on the fact that you don’t. This is among the most underrated in it’s class, however even among great albums, sometimes there are reasons why good music doesn’t quite break the surface into the common knowledge. I think Mana Ewah’s happened to be that it had an amazing idea at it’s core, but Bifröst unfortunately had no idea where else to go once they got there.