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On disc: Noekk

- The Minstrel's Curse - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

The Minstrel's Curse

The Minstrel's Curse
(Prophecy Productions - 2008)

The duo is named after Nck, a fairy-tale figure.. A ghost which lives in the water and is as volatile as the water he lives in... And the name stands for the music, too.
The opening track is the title track and kicks off with heavy riffs. From the beginning they show that they blend heavy riffs, progressive elements, doomy parts and majestic baritone vocals. They surprise the listener when they slow down and include some folk elements, but later they tend to melodic black metal... The duo Fungus Baldachin and F.F. Yugoth - better known as Thomas Helm and Markus Stock of Empyrium - combine whatever seems to suit their musical vision. Accepting no limits, but this makes it difficult for the listener to follow their musical journey. The Song Of Durin has obviously reminiscences to Dio and even the phrasing is a bit like Ronnie James Dio. Riff-based heavy metal in the beginning they mix in some unusual rhythmic patters... Later in the song you get reminded of 70's prog rock - for a little while. At How Long Is Even they have included a keyboard / piano part which is obviously inspired by some classic piano tune, but again this is just a facet of their sound. The 4 songs offer about 34 minutes of music, and with every spin you might discover something new, but there is no catchiness and so you won't easily remember the tunes. This is no easy-listening music, but interesting for everyone who is up to varying sounds and likes bands who cross borders. But don't switch off too early! The last track stops after about 9+ minutes and then there is a long silence before they return with some spoken words accompanied by threatening epic sounds.
The songs are guitar-driven and get a special touch due to the baritone vocals of Baldachin who also is responsible for the song writing.

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


           2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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