|Review: Darkwoods My Betrothed - Heirs of the Northstar|
|Heirs of the Northstar|
Year released: 2011
Originally released in: 1995
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: January 27, 2012
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Heirs of the Northstar
Rated 3.91/5 (78.18%) (11 Votes)
This is a re-release of Darkwoods My Betrothed's debut from back in 1995, being put out on the mini Kvlture label as some kind of BM history. DMB were part of the explosion of Finnish BM bands as the second wave hit in the mid 90's along with bands like Thy Serpent. There has not been an album of new material in 14 years and it seems unlikely we will get any, so this is at least better than another lame compilation.
Darkwoods are probably most famous for having Tuomas Holopainen (now of Nightwish) as a member back in the day, and he composed and performed all the keys on this album. The keys are mostly a backup instrument, and this is really a very typical early second-wave album. If you are familiar with Thy Serpent or Emperor's early works you will find little to shock you here.
All that said, this is a solid album with a lot of epic sweep and real atmosphere. I confess I have a real fondness for the keyboardy 90's BM bands, and this is a strong example of the genre. The recording is rough (not raw) but in a legitimate way bespeaking a low budget, not the studio tricks bands use nowadays to sound 'kvlt'. The riffs are grandiose and well-constructed, and the compositions are compelling even on the massive 16-minute closing track. A worthy album to resurrect.
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