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Darkenhöld: Echoes of the Stone Keeper

Back with their sophomore full-length, the French cloak-wearing black metallers in Darkenhöld stretch out a hand and offer to take you on a journey through the dark dungeons of a mist-shrouded medieval citadel.

And, well, Echoes from the Stone Keeper definitely is not a bad album.

Firmly placing themselves at the more accessible end of the black metal gamut, Darkenhöld's music is melodic, and the production is, without being polished, very well-defined. The French trio of course embrace the typical genre traits of black metal, such as blastbeats and tense harmonies as well as screechy vocals. However, as seems to be a common tendency in French black metal, they are not content with the confines of "pvre kvlt" black metal, as they draw on other metal genres, such as traditional metal, dark power metal, and even darker hard rock.

Thus, while inherently dark, the music on this album is very melodic. What's more, in what I think is an attempt at invoking an epic atmosphere and a dark medieval feel, Darkenhöld prominently feature keyboards on this album, which work well most of the time, but also come across a wee bit cheesy every now and then.

While in no way identical in sound, I think that fans of Immortal's generally eccentric, but at the same time awesome, lyrical universe and in particular their power thrash-infused black metal music on All Shall Fall might also enjoy Darkenhöld's melodic, but dark, black metal on this album.

1. Intro
2. Alchemy & Arcana
3. Wyvern Solitude Chant
4. Echoes from the Stone Keeper
5. March of the Sylvan Beasts
6. Interlude
7. Mesnie Hellequin
8. Chasm of Asylake
9. Nightfall and the Fire Doom
10. Castle Ruins Anthem

Added: March 16th 2013
Reviewer: Kim Jensen
Related Link: Darkenhöld @ Facebook
Hits: 2019
Language: english

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