Tumulus - _Wodureid_
(No Colours Records, 1999)
by: Alvin Wee (7 out of 10)
A full four years since their unintentionally obscure debut with _Mock_ on Dutch Hammerheart Records (who apparently ripped them off big time), German trio Tumulus ride forth with a new mini-opus of medieval Germanic folk and metal. Unsurprisingly Odinnistic, _Wodureid_ could prove to be yet another vehicle for No Colours to launch forth their infamous nationalistic/Pagan spiel. Dogma aside, though, this four-tracker is far from something to set your drink on; despite being chronically undecided in the realm of musical direction, the three medieval tracks evoke the Pagan/Heathen atmosphere as effectively as any Ulver instrumental. Strangely enough, the album begins with the raw heavy/black metal track "Wodan's Jagd" ("Odin's Hunt"), musically reminiscent of old epic Bathory circa _Blood on Ice_. Quite good, really, if a tad passe. What follows is a truly medieval heathen war-hymn replete with droning flutes, martial drums and clear singing. Things take yet another turn with "Sunnwend", an epic chorus more evocative of Middle-Age cathedral chanting than the previously hinted-at pagandom. Suitably lush with nicely penned keyboards and choirs, this one should prove a hit with fans of Raison d'Etre et al. Rounding off festivities is the instrumental outro which smacks roundly of Ulver's early acoustic work, less ritualistic, more folk now, leaving this listener thoroughly confused as to these bards' musical intent. All said, this somewhat incomplete release should see Tumulus making the rounds in the tape-trading scene (if one still exists), but as for long-term enjoyment, more discerning listeners will find more pleasure in _Kveldssanger_. Don't give up on these boys yet, though, word's out they're working on new stuff; in the meantime, 17DM plus postage should see this one winging its way to you.

Contact: No Colours, Postfach 32, 04541 Borna, Germany

(article published 12/10/1999)


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