Nine Within the Tree
Dosenhof Wodenson, Hammer of the Gods Records
Review by Aluric Sneyd
This CD kind of took me by surprise. I
met Chuck/aka Dosenhof at the ANA Moot#1, and heard this music, played on an
old six-string. I was blown away with his talent--good music, great lyrics,
all about the gods, and the lore, and really good picking. I bought a disc on
the spot. When it arrived, it took me aback. I wasn't expecting harps and cellos,
but I wasn't expecting Black Sabbath, either. The style is assuredly metal,
but unlike many of the no-talent thrash bands around, the musicianship is rock-solid.
The sound quality is a little uneven, but with the heavy fuzz (a la Blue Cheer,
Hendrix and Cream) on some tracks, it has a nice garage band feel
to it. If Chuck lived in Seattle, he'd probably be on tour now. A few words
from a recent interview with the artist:
"Well as far as musical influences
I would have to say that I have a diverse array. Ranging from Black Sabbath
and other 70's Rock bands up to Death Metal. I do enjoy classical guitar music,
flaminco, and some other Spanish guitar music but I don't know how much of that
out in my music. If I had to narrow it down I would have to say Yngwie Malmsteen,
Metallica, Black Sabbath, and Queensryche. It's really hard to simplify one's
musical influences because it is basically a product of everything that one
has ever heard, coupled with what one happens to like the most, and then figure
in the person's playing ability. The Genre of the music is "Viking Rock/Metal"
I have been playing guitar for 16 yrs. , Bass for 10, vocals for 6, and drums
for 2. I am self taught for the most part.
"Nine WIthin The Tree" is actually
the second Album that I have done, but the recording quality of the machine
that I used (a four track recorder) was so bad that I don't think that I am
going to re-release the first one. Instead I will release it a song or two at
a time on proceeding CD's. "Nine..." was recorded on a Roland VS-840.
Which is an 8 channel digital recorder. It records on zip disks. And "Nine"
was the first thing I recorded with it so there was some major expermentation.
I hope that the next CD will have a little more continuity in sound."
"Thunor" is one of my favorites, with a rippling, sinewy acoustic
melody line, and brooding, dirge-like vocals. It builds slowly to a climax,
when the searing lead guitar finally erupts with the release of a thunderstorm
breaking. Some great lyrics:
"Thunder racks the sky
Bringing on the gentle rain...
Single-handed was bane
Son of Earth
Etin's sons to the grave...
Friend of man
Be you the wielder
Woden's son hear me again..."
The chorus is an anguished invocation:
Sometimes you're so far away..."
"Jotunheim" is pure metal--if Ozzy hears this, it'll be on his next
record. Not my style, but I still find my toes tapping in 6/8 time. "Frau
Holda" is another incantatory acoustic piece that I like very much--it
will also appeal to non-metal heads. The Spanish and classical influences are
evident here. "Valhalla" is another straight-ahead rocker, full bore,
no holds barred. Good piece though, well-constructed for maximum penetration.
"Beowulf" leads off with an acoustic intro, then segues into Speed
Metal--nicely done, with some great leads, I can't help but like this one a
lot. "Heimdall" is another ballad, an emotional call to Bifrost's
guardian. Powerful. I don't care for "Yggdrasil". Repetetive metal,
that just doesn't do it for me. Great lyrics, though. "Ginnungagap"
is another heavy metal piece, but, like "Valhalla", it has a lot of
drama and heart.
"The Wolf Bound" I consider the weakest track on the disc. Thrash
at its worst. Sorry Chuck. What follows however, "Vanaheim" is an
achingly beautiful instrumental with a lush, 70's Progressive Rock feel--layers
of acoustic and electronic keyboards, very classical. This one sends me. The
last track, "Laughing God" is brilliant. Altered vocals and a hypnotic
melody lend an eerie note to the proceedings--an actual dirge to Loki.
"Laughing god we hear your cries
Ring the gong, tell a lie
Bound you are in chains
'Till Ragnorak when you are baned."
All in all, a Great effort, one that deserves a place in every heathen music-lover's
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