Wolcensmen – “Songs From The Fyrgen” 2 CD re-issue (Indie Recordings)
Battle Helm Rating
Wolcensmen is the epic heathen folk project brought into being by Dan Capp, an English guitarist also known for his role in black metal band Winterfylleth. Initially released in 2016, this debut sold out within 6 months of its pressing, receiving widespread critical acclaim for its atmospheric reflections of folkloric moods and aesthetics inspired by the likes of Ulver, Opeth, Empyrium and Wongraven. Penned during his teenage years when he had crafted short acoustic passages of music, Wolcensmen soon became the vehicle for expressing spiritual philosophies and musical atmospheres especially in exploring the mystical heathen cultures of north western Europe. In addition to his praiseworthy acoustic guitar work, which certainly fulfils the deep philosophy underpinning this project, Capp is joined by other talented musicians incorporating the sounds of the bodhran, norse galdr, cellos, flutes and synthesizers. Recorded over a 5 year period in a number of countries including England, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Canada and the USA, the 9 songs range from those around 2 minutes to more lengthier 10 minute pieces. However, in all cases, there is little deviation from from the gentle, flowing passion that pervades these deeply emotional and hugely atmospheric folk songs, so anyone seeking any noise needn’t bother with “Songs From The Fyrgen”, even though I would see it as the perfect contrast to complement extreme music, hence its strong appeal, at least to me. Now with a bonus CD of brand new songs, including a rendition of the Bathory classic ‘Man of Iron’, prepare to be mesmerised by the brilliance of ‘The Bekens Are Aliht’ with its subtle guitar, moving keyboards and gentle harmonies, yet delivering some of the most powerful and heart stirring folk and medieval melodies to come forth in many a moon. Then there’s ‘The Mon O’ Micht’, with its simple, yet so effective soul courtesy of Capp’s somewhat melancholic vocals, illuminated throughout by just the right touch of folk percussion and gongs that keep it long resonating in your ears even after its ending. Probably the ‘heaviest’ (dare I say it) track is ‘Hoofes Upon the Shymmeringe Path’ with its more audible drum work, shamanic background vocals and Capp’s own prominent guitar delivering some spectacularly catchy folk melodies to lift the soul from any gloom and winter blues. Better than Night Nurse, it’s great to once again hear this debut and the awesome talent behind it.