Nebelung is an old German name for November, the month of melancholy and the herald of forthcoming winter according to the band’s Facebook page. I suspect that they chose this name for that very description itself as it perfectly sums up the sound and mood of their latest release Palingenesis. There’s also an interesting explanation of the name of the album on their Bandcamp page. I recommend you listen to the tunes before reading it though, lest it colour your thoughts. So just 6 tracks on an album that runs to 51 minutes, can it keep your attention for that long given that this is mainly an instrumental album?
Yes. Very much so.
‘Mittwinter’ kicks things off in a wistful and melancholic manner. Guitars pick out melodies that drone and hypnotise and lull you into an almost dreamlike state and just when you think you’re going to fall down an endless spiral of looping sounds the track shifts and becomes more urgent. A voice whispers to you from the dark adding yet more layers onto this already sterling album.
The genius of this album is that Nebelung have managed to convey an emotion and an atmosphere without the usual tool of lyrics. It’s easy to make someone feel a certain way with words but to do it with music requires real talent. ‘Polaris’ with its melancholy air leaves me feeling washed out and yearning for something.... anything.... the violin serving to compound these feelings.
The centre-piece of this album is the 14 minute ‘Wandlung’. It’s epic in its scope to-ing and fro-ing back and forth, there’s a section that resembles the ticking of a clock that adds an edge of tension to the song; that makes you feel that you’re building up to something - some sort of epiphany or something so monumental that you can’t possibly survive having the knowledge..... which eventually fades towards the end of the song.
There’s more songs but, really, I would being doing this band and this album an even greater disservice than I already have done by trying to put into words just how elegant, fragile and tender this album is. It’s not a record that you put on in the background as you do the dishes, it’s something that requires and DESERVES your full attention. It’s one of the most heart wrenching, beautiful works of art I have heard this year. It’s emotive, it’s dark, it’s everything you can want from music. A journey into your subconscious. And for that, you must have this album. Buy it from the band’s Bandcamp page. Thank me later.