One of the burdens of being a music fan is seeking out albums that are rare or out-of-print. Albums from bands as diverse as Coil, Forseti, and up until recently, Dawn, have all been nearly impossible to find, and when you did come across them, they were often only available at absurd prices. Of course, finding such rarities is an inexplicable thrill, but one worth sacrificing for the better good of being able to complete your collection and find such albums with ease. Nebelung, after a decade, has decided to remedy this and reissue its phenomenal début album, Mistelteinn—an album that cemented them as leaders of the Germanic dark folk scene.
At its opening is an instrumental piece that foreshadows Palingenesis, showcasing Nebelung’s ability to craft atmosphere with merely a couple of acoustic guitars. “Heimsuchung”
is the first song to reveal Stefan Otto’s gentle voice—a croon that is sentimental and simultaneously strong. Listening to this certainly makes me realize how much I enjoy this earlier style, as I equally appreciate the form they now exist in. The cello fits perfectly with his voice with nearly the same timbre, singing its own song. Regardless of one’s knowledge of the German language, it’s fairly easy to become familiar with these songs and at least hum along. This also reveals how easy it was to remove the vocals from Nebelung’s music altogether, for they are only a relatively insignificant part of their creations—not the basis of the songs themselves, such as in the typical songwriting formula of many neofolk bands.
Songs such as “Abel und Kain” now feature a different tone that gives the album a renewed vitality. In its original incarnation, I considered this to be the weakest track on the album, but it ends up containing a sense of tangibility that makes it so much stronger simply by utilizing a different pitch. Various rearrangements on this reissue exist throughout and, in general, a much more mature, understanding touch exists on this, as Nebelung have been able to look back with the perspective of age and wisdom in order to correct past wrongdoings. Most notable will be the new cover image—thistles replacing trees in a photographic visual that is much better at visually doing the music therein justice.
This new fire brings more warmth, rekindling Nebelung’s unyielding flame and longingly looking back at the dichotomy of where they began and how far they’ve come. It’s like gazing into an old family photograph and grasping a more vivid recurrence of an old memory. What is even more satisfying is that Mistelteinn—with no offense intended towards the folks at Eis und Licht who did the best with what they had at their disposal in 2005—has finally been given the mastering treatment it deserves. Temple of Torturous have given Nebelung’s original compositions the chance to grow into a stunning album that rivals everything else they’ve been able to accomplish to this point.
We’re very proud to be able to offer you the chance to hear Mistelteinn in its entirety here for the first time, in its beautifully remastered form.
03) Abel und Kain
04) Regen in der Dämmerung