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Rauhnacht - Vorweltschweigen [Sturmklang - 2010]

Rauhnacht is the one-man black metal band started in 2006 by Stefan Traunmuller (also a member of Wallachia, Golden Dawn and Sternenstaub).  Vorweltschweigen (which roughly translates to Silence of the Ancient World) is the debut full length.  Rauhnacht is another black metal project that skillfully fuses black metal music with folk and pagan regional history (think Kampfar, Sear Bliss and Negura Bunget).

The background of Rauhnacht lies in the Austrian Alps.  Much of the lyrics are inspired from here, concerning the traditional folklore and pagan legends of the area.  Traditional instruments originating from the area are also featured: Teufelsgeige, Alphorn and Hunterís trumpet. The name Rauhnacht is the name for the twelve nights between December 24 until January 6 when dead souls and winter demons celebrate their wild hunt through the alpine villages.

On first listening to Vorweftschweigen the initial impression is that this is a pristinely created and produced piece of music.  Musically itís a pretty dramatic and passionate affair, with lots of deftly placed morsels of black metal combined with a folk-ish sensibility.  Tempo wise things are kept at a mid pace or slower, no blast beats and frantic double bass are heard.  Yet altogether itís an extremely solid and heavy.  Bits of dark ambient are added to immerse the listener in the sounds of the icy alpine region.  That combined with the sinister and fantastical heaviness of the music is very effective. 

It should be mentioned that all lyrics are in German, which if youíre not familiar with the language might hinder from fully understanding the legends and myths that are discussed.  Happily we live in the age of Google translator. 
While being a tremendously dark and fantastical piece of work, it really did bring to mind Sear Bliss (maybe the use of horns could have caused this or the similarities in singing style).  Still it is something worth the time of day.  Well thought out, well played and well done.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Viktorya Kaufholz
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