Darkwood - Schicksalsfahrt
Neofolk, Folk "The greater good is above all!" How many times did you hear this slogan from the specific people that had tried to push millions to their deaths? Where is the edge which you cannot cross from both obeying and governing sides? I am sure that few of you will answer that doing what is necessary to meet a long-term goal is more important than an individual's life. Indeed, those dilemmas had been often discussed by many wise men apt for rhetoric all over the world and one of them was a French writer, poet, and pioneering aviator, famous to all of us by the name Antoine de Saint-Exupery. One of his novels "Night Flight" concentrates on this theme; drawing a picture of a pilot who was sent by his boss on a dangerous and wittingly impossible mission into the eye of the storm only to prove the point of sacrificing everything for the greater good. Of course, Saint-Exupery perfectly describes all the drama behind the story and its influence on the modern world; this book already became a part of cultural heritage disclosing deep social processes and all their problematic issues, being a matter of current interests as well. That's why the visions taken out of the novel continue to find their reflections inside different manifestations of contemporary art, and the new album from German resident Henryk Vogel aka Darkwood is not an exception. This noble fella was never afraid of controversial themes and with his latest record "Schicksalsfahrt" ("fateful ride") he invites listener to join him on an extremely dangerous mission.

The year is 1930 around; aviation makes its first steps becoming widely spread over the globe, taking control of tasks that were totally terrestrial until now. The flying machines are still primitive and their equipment is quite basic and that fact puts a lot of pressure on the pilots, the true pioneers of an opened space between the land and stars above. Being a pilot is an honorable profession receiving a lot of attention from the public, but no one notices that the occupation is bound with loneliness and solitude, full of grim romantics when men leave the ground alone, on their own, having a thousand causes in front that can kill them. But their heart belongs to the sky and day by day they put on their helmets and goggles, step forward and spread their wings to join the wind in its journey above wide plains.

Eighty five years later it's Henryks' turn to express all the poetry behind the subject with ten ballads full of sadness. Fifteen years of active musical career with a dozen of albums and collaborations put Darkwood in the head of the German neofolk scene. And of course, if you are familiar with their music, you definitely know what to expect from one of the brightest minds of this genre; the classic sound became an etalon already for many followers trying to exploit the same tools. The opening track called "Secret Places" is an excellent example for the well-known techniques - Darkwood presents mainly acoustic guitar driven melodies full of other instruments and each of them is playing its important role inside the whole structure. This kind of a music fits perfectly into a spirit of a night campfire gathering where the magic of each tune is felt stronger than ever before, when an invisible connection between noble, open-minded people creates a true mystery. Following the same reserve, Henryk continues telling the story of heroism and self-devotion where violins, accordion, different percussions, both solo and bass guitar are bound together inside the thematic compositions like "Fliegergedicht" ("aviator poem" ger.), "Der Letzte Flug" ("the last flight" ger.), "Nightwind" and others. A female vocal performed by Manuela Zankl appears from time to time contributing to the whole picture of solitude and loss. And the last, but not less important element of the whole picture is a charismatic and gentle voice of Henryk himself. The lyrics of the songs are based on famous poems by different poets like E. Bronte, R. Westermann and others which receive a slightly different perspective while being sang alongside neofolk music.

Even without bringing anything new into the genre, Darkwood succeeds in presenting solid material and true fans of this German act can be very pleased with a classic, even a bit conservative sound. As for newcomers, it can be a good point to start their journey not only through the worlds of Henryk Vogel, but also an opportunity to get an idea about the whole scene which has a lot of followers not only in Germany, but all around the globe as well. "In every crowd are certain persons who seem just like the rest, yet they bear amazing messages." (-Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Night Flight). Therefore, take your copy of "Schicksalsfahrt", insert it into your CD-player and listen to the message of Henryk, because it is not the one you can afford yourself to miss.
4
Brutal Resonance

Darkwood - Schicksalsfahrt

8.0
"Great"
N/A
Electroracle
Released 2013 by Heidenvolk
"The greater good is above all!" How many times did you hear this slogan from the specific people that had tried to push millions to their deaths? Where is the edge which you cannot cross from both obeying and governing sides? I am sure that few of you will answer that doing what is necessary to meet a long-term goal is more important than an individual's life. Indeed, those dilemmas had been often discussed by many wise men apt for rhetoric all over the world and one of them was a French writer, poet, and pioneering aviator, famous to all of us by the name Antoine de Saint-Exupery. One of his novels "Night Flight" concentrates on this theme; drawing a picture of a pilot who was sent by his boss on a dangerous and wittingly impossible mission into the eye of the storm only to prove the point of sacrificing everything for the greater good. Of course, Saint-Exupery perfectly describes all the drama behind the story and its influence on the modern world; this book already became a part of cultural heritage disclosing deep social processes and all their problematic issues, being a matter of current interests as well. That's why the visions taken out of the novel continue to find their reflections inside different manifestations of contemporary art, and the new album from German resident Henryk Vogel aka Darkwood is not an exception. This noble fella was never afraid of controversial themes and with his latest record "Schicksalsfahrt" ("fateful ride") he invites listener to join him on an extremely dangerous mission.

The year is 1930 around; aviation makes its first steps becoming widely spread over the globe, taking control of tasks that were totally terrestrial until now. The flying machines are still primitive and their equipment is quite basic and that fact puts a lot of pressure on the pilots, the true pioneers of an opened space between the land and stars above. Being a pilot is an honorable profession receiving a lot of attention from the public, but no one notices that the occupation is bound with loneliness and solitude, full of grim romantics when men leave the ground alone, on their own, having a thousand causes in front that can kill them. But their heart belongs to the sky and day by day they put on their helmets and goggles, step forward and spread their wings to join the wind in its journey above wide plains.

Eighty five years later it's Henryks' turn to express all the poetry behind the subject with ten ballads full of sadness. Fifteen years of active musical career with a dozen of albums and collaborations put Darkwood in the head of the German neofolk scene. And of course, if you are familiar with their music, you definitely know what to expect from one of the brightest minds of this genre; the classic sound became an etalon already for many followers trying to exploit the same tools. The opening track called "Secret Places" is an excellent example for the well-known techniques - Darkwood presents mainly acoustic guitar driven melodies full of other instruments and each of them is playing its important role inside the whole structure. This kind of a music fits perfectly into a spirit of a night campfire gathering where the magic of each tune is felt stronger than ever before, when an invisible connection between noble, open-minded people creates a true mystery. Following the same reserve, Henryk continues telling the story of heroism and self-devotion where violins, accordion, different percussions, both solo and bass guitar are bound together inside the thematic compositions like "Fliegergedicht" ("aviator poem" ger.), "Der Letzte Flug" ("the last flight" ger.), "Nightwind" and others. A female vocal performed by Manuela Zankl appears from time to time contributing to the whole picture of solitude and loss. And the last, but not less important element of the whole picture is a charismatic and gentle voice of Henryk himself. The lyrics of the songs are based on famous poems by different poets like E. Bronte, R. Westermann and others which receive a slightly different perspective while being sang alongside neofolk music.

Even without bringing anything new into the genre, Darkwood succeeds in presenting solid material and true fans of this German act can be very pleased with a classic, even a bit conservative sound. As for newcomers, it can be a good point to start their journey not only through the worlds of Henryk Vogel, but also an opportunity to get an idea about the whole scene which has a lot of followers not only in Germany, but all around the globe as well. "In every crowd are certain persons who seem just like the rest, yet they bear amazing messages." (-Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Night Flight). Therefore, take your copy of "Schicksalsfahrt", insert it into your CD-player and listen to the message of Henryk, because it is not the one you can afford yourself to miss. Jul 01 2014

Andrew Dienes

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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