|Review: Kerbenok - O|
Label: Northern Silence Productions
Year released: 2008
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: January 30, 2009
Reviewed by: Pagan Shadow
Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (4 Votes)
Gee, I really like those Germans! I mean, the truly underground artists, carving some of today's most interesting and innovative music. At first though, even if I liked what I was listening to, I was not certain about Kerbenok's music. Knowing it was a Black/Pagan Metal act, I felt the compositions were not really fitting that category. After many more spins, I kind of agree with that general direction.
There is a lot happening on O, and I'm afraid many more listens will be necessary to grasp more of what they have subtly created. Two permanent members form Kerbenok. Stefan on guitars, acoustic guitars, bass and vocals; Christopher handling drums, vocals and vibraphone. Already we have a little something different about these guys. Then, some session musicians came in to add their harmonies with different instruments such as percussions, female vocals, keyboards, cello and horns. By now, one has realized he or she's holding something highly interesting. Their take on Pagan Metal leans more toward the progressive edge than the usual folksy side. That being said, it has never stopped Kerbenok from including folksy elements such as acoustic guitars, flute, and even some female vocals into their song structure. Acoustic guitars (oh great tonalities!), are to be heard on quite a few occasions on this release. A bit of nature sampling and a certain epic touch are also present. Bits of electronics, keyboards, and even some industrial parts can be found, as well as intricate time signatures, all forming the progressive edge.
Variety is the key word here, along with crafty songwriting, so all those eclectic pieces fall together, forming a very pleasant, intelligent and different opus of brilliant Germanic compositions.
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