Friday, December 13, 2013


Nachtfalke - The Last Battles
Christhunt Productions, 2014
Genre: Black Metal

Disc 1:
As the Wolves Died:
1. Call from Udgaard
2. Wrath of Old Gods
3. Let Me Die
4. Praise the War
5. Midsummer
6. When the Wolves Return
7. Hail the Old Gods
Following the Wanderers Path:
8. Call of the Gjallarhorn
9. My Skin is Bark
10. Amidst Ancient Forests
11. To Stars High Above
12. As a Falcon through the Night
13. Calm Before the Storm
14. Halls of Hel
15. Beyond the Fire
16. Dawn of a New Age

Disc 2: Wotan's Return
1. Wotan's Return
2. Deep into the Woods
3. Hyperborean Light
4. After a Rain of Fire
5. Autumn Leaves
6. Asatru
7. Ulfhednir Demon
8. The King of Jarl
9. Adler aus Eisen
10. Conquest & War

Disc 3: Tribute to Bathory:
1. Sacrifice
2. Woman of Dark Desire
3. Call from the Grave
4. Odens Ride Over the Northland/A Fine Day to Die
5. Shores in Flames
6. Blood & Iron
7. The Woodwoman

Sadly this isn't a new Nachtfalke album, but what we have here is similar to the "First Battles" compilation. However, this compiles the three most recent Nachtfalke releases into one set. As with the first compilation, this features all freshly re-mastered albums. The remastering is quite good, and I actually rather enjoyed a lot of "Following the Wanderers Path". Below you will see this is the release I did not enjoy very much, but a lot of parts from this album really stood out in a positive light this time around.

Nachtfalke, also, is not content to just re-release the material in a single package, they really make this worth getting beyond the remastering. The first disc is composed of two albums minus the cover songs, so there isn't anything drastically different here. The really good part hits in disc two where we hear "Wotan's Return". Here a big change occurs with the removal of the cover songs and the addition of four entirely new songs! These songs are exceptional as far as I'm concerned. My favorite is "The Kind of Jarl" and it really hits into some Moonblood moments for me. It's probably one of the blackest songs Nachtfalke has ever done and really makes me miss this style. "Ulfhednir Demon" has an excellent epic feel to it, but has a sort of raw like guitar tone that really works perfectly. "Adler aus Eisen" is another epic track that has a long and soaring build up with vocals waiting until about halfway through to start. These additional tracks are really worth it, because they all around ten minutes in length. The last track "Conquest & War" is very different for Nachtfalke. It starts with an Arabic sort of vibe and builds into a much more old school sounding song, bordering on the old Thrash Metal days of the genre. At first I thought it might be a cover song, but it's an original. It doesn't exactly fit with the Nachtfalke style, but I'll never turn down hearing a new track. I truly hope the three new tracks are indicative of an album on the horizon, since it is clear Occulta-Mors is still composing music.

Now, we can't have a Nachtfalke release without some Bathory presence showing up. Since it was removed from the original Nachtfalke material, it all shows up on the third disc. Here we have over fifty minutes of Bathory covers. These aren't all just cut and pasted from the prior releases, these are largely entirely re-recorded songs, except for the last three. The vocals stick more to the harsher edge and a much closer to the style featured on the "Blood Fire Death" album. Rather than trying to mimic the more Heavy metal style vocals of later Bathory, which I never liked much. Staying closer to the "Blood Fire Death" or a more Black Metal style really makes these songs turn out quite well. I really like the fact that they don't try to be as much of a carbon copy as prior recordings and I actually enjoyed these recordings more than I normally do when they show up.

The one complaint I really have is that this release has typos galore all over it. The first, most obvious, is "Tribut to Bathory", which, I assume, is supposed to be "Tribute to Bathory". The more hidden is the omission of "Asatru" on "Wotan's Return". The song is actually on there on the CD. The worst offender is the "Tribute to Bathory" track listing. It's out of order and missing tracks. What I've listed above is the actual track listing. At least I hope I figured out all the mistakes on this release...

Typos and mistakes aside, this is really worth getting if you're a Nachtfalke fan. Usually these compilations of material are rather worthless by bands, but Nachtfalke makes it worth our while. The newest material is very very good and I hope we hear more from Nachtfalke in the near future with material like this.

Nachtfalke - Wotan's Return
Christhunt Productions, 2011
Genre: Black Metal

1. Shores in Flames (Bathory Cover)
2. Wotan's Return
3. Deep into the Woods
4. Hyperborean Light
5. Autumn Leaves
6. Asatru
7. Call from the Grave (Bathory Cover)

Here it is, the album where Occulta-Mors makes up for not having a Bathory cover on "Land of Frost". After the very disappointing "Following the Wanderers Path" and waiting a solid four years for a new album, I was really skeptical about what this would sound like.  I don't know if the bad reviews affected Occulta-Mors decisions on this album or other things, but the full line-up featured on the prior album is gone and there is just Occulta-Mors recording this again.  Despite that there are two songs written by, what he calls "Livehorde".

After opening with an incredibly epic Bathory track we launch into the meat of this album.  "Wotan's Return" has a pretty clear shift in Nachtfalke's sound, but overall it is not a bad one.  This album seems to pretty much pick up where Quorthon's legacy left off. However, Occulta-Mors mixes in far more harsh vocals, which I love and I hope he never changes that, but the guitar lines are clearly designed around the epic nature of Bathory's later career. The songs really keep this atmosphere going for the whole album and while the album is not bad, it just isn't particularly memorable.  There aren't really any aspects that stand out, nor are there any particular tracks, which I suppose is alright since the main focus on this was generating that particular atmosphere.  It works in the context of the Atmospheric Black Metal bands, who don't really have memorable tracks, but rather memorable albums.  Although, I will say there is a riff in "After a Rain of Fire" that is quite spectacular.  As far as an album goes, I'm not sure how memorable I would count this, for me.  Maybe I am not as die-hard of a Bathory fan as other people, which I'm sure I'm not, but this is still a pretty solid album in the grand scheme of things.

The last two original tracks were written by the Livehorde, so it's not entirely done by Occulta-Mors.  When I read this in the liner notes, I was immediately worried about the state of these songs. I'm pleased to announce that it seems the band got their act together and the songs fit very well with the overall scope of this album. The only really curious thing about this album is the placement of the Bathory cover songs.  While I realize the need for doing two, opening with a cover song is usually a bad idea.  Sticking it in the middle would have made more sense, especially since the cover songs fit with the atmosphere of the album so well.  But opening with a nine minute cover that is very close to the original is a little disappointing to start with, since many of us have already heard that song before and we wanted to hear the new Nachtfalke material from the start. The album closes with the classic "Call from the Grave", but the track is a little over seven minutes long.  After the song ends there is a "secret track" where it's just a recording of the band laughing and singing some classic 60's songs. I imagine this is a drunken time hanging out in the studio.

One more thing I will say about this album.  This is the most well produced Nachtfalke album out there.  Everything is mixed so perfectly and recorded so crisply.  It still manages to have a harsh edge to the distorted guitars, which gives a nice thick organic tone to the album.  The usual, sort of fuzzy, guitar mix is gone.  We just get a nice thick tone out of Nachtfalke this time around. This is just perfect and the engineer should be very proud for capturing Nachtfalke in this light.

I think fans of the prior Nachtfalke albums might have some issues with the bands evolution.  When it came to writing epic, yet fast Black Metal, Nacthfalke excelled.  However, there is only one song where blast beats are to be found and all the guitar progressions are strummed chords for the most part (except the one song, Asatru).  This creates a very different motivation behind the album, so I can see why this would land as a little lack luster to fans of the band.  In any event, it must be pointed out that this is a lot better than "Following the Wanderers Path" and, honestly, if Nachtfalke released albums in this vein I would be satisfied with that.  Albeit I would miss the Black Metal of their earlier releases, of course.

Nachtfalke - Following the Wanderers Path
Christhunt Productions, 2007
Genre: Black Metal?

1. Call of the Gjallarhorn
2. My Skin is Bark
3. Amidst Ancient Forests
4. To Stars High Above
5. As a Falcon through the Night
6. The Woodwoman (Bathory Cover)
7. Calm Before the Storm
8. Halls of Hell
9. Beyond the Fire
10. Dawn of a New Age (Outro)

This seems to be the Nachtfalke album fans enjoy the least, and I have to agree for the most part.  I feel like the composition is very confused in terms of how they want to approach the music.  It's a real shame too, because I love the cover and all the art surrounding this album.  For all intents and purposes it should be one of the best in the discography.  It comes in a hand-numbered A5 digi-pak format limited to 1,000 copies, of which I own #828.  I really can't imagine writing down numbers up to 1,000... so I have no idea why this is hand-numbered.

There's a massive difference for this release.  Occulta-Mors has enlisted other musicians and has basically put together a full band.  This is great in theory and clearly live shows were performed, but when it comes to writing and recording things don't seem to have gone very well. I don't think the new vocalist really doesn't the music justice and the drum arrangements just don't have the same "oomph" in all the other releases.

"Call of the Gjallarhorn" starts off with a very promising intro.  One of the most powerful and sophisticated in Nachtfalke's catalog, so I had high hopes for the song.  Unfortunately we got some really dry material.  I feel like this is following in the footsteps of Einherjer's "Odin Owns ye All", which was a major black mark on that bands discography.  "Call of the Gjallarhorn" is not a strong start to the album and what follows doesn't really win me back.  "My Skin is Bark" is pretty much a full on Black Metal song, but that epic majesty in the prior Nachtfalke releases doesn't feel present for some reason.  The album sort of plods along this way and nothing very exciting ever seems to turn it's head.  The guitar arrangements are geared a lot more in the general Heavy Metal vein, but it lacks the same passion in the prior Nachtfalke releases.  The uninspired clean vocals greatly mar the recording as well. I'm just not getting anything out of this album, because it's so far removed from what Nachtfalke is truly passionate about. It's just like the Einherjer album referenced above, it was totally meaningless.

Maybe my love for Black Metal is clouding my judgement a little bit, but I just get nothing from this album.  If you're a fan of more traditional Heavy Metal, then you might get more out of this than me.  But even the Black Metal aspects of this album felt a little dry as well.  I really hope this isn't indicative of the rest of Nachtfalke's career.  Perhaps the band just hasn't nailed down writing together very well, so a first effort isn't going to sound nearly as spectacular with the single vision of before.  Who knows, I just hope they can work out whatever kinks may exist for the project.

"Halls of Hel" is probably the best song on the album, but I'm not sure it's truly indicative of the overall performance.

Nachtfalke - First Battles
Christhunt Productions, 2006
Genre: Black Metal

Disc 1: Hail Victory Teutonia
1. Ode to the Fallen One
2. Searched and Found
3. Asgard Riders
4. War in Asgard
5. Man of Iron (Bathory Cover)
6. Warrior's Nightmare
7. Viking Dance "Under the Flag of Odin's Son"
8. To Honour Wotan
9. Nordic Warriors
10. Hail Teutonia
11. You're So Wrong (Black Widow Cover)

Disc 2: Doomed to Die:
1. Valhalla
2. Pestkrieg
3. One Home of Once Brave (Bathory Cover)
4. Fallen Heroes
5. Einherjer "Doomed to Die"
Land of Frost (Remastered):
6. The Windlords
7. Ragnarök
8. Berserker
9. Immortal Home
10. Men from North
11. Land of Frost
12. Transilvanian Hunger (Darkthrone Cover)

Disc 3: Live at Asgard 16/4/05
1. Intro
2. Valhalla
3. Immortal Home
4. Berserker
5. When the Wolves Return
6. The Windlords
7. Einherjer "Doomed to Die"
8. Nordic Warriors
9. Praise the War
10. Hail Teutonia
11. Outro/Hail the Old Gods

If you had the grave misfortune to miss out on the first three Nachtfalke albums here they are again collected in one great work.  Even if you already owned the original albums, like me, there are some extra incentives to get this.  The most obvious is the bonus DVD on the third disc.

Some other notable reasons for picking this up is the remixing of some songs on "Hail Victory Teutonia", which actually sound a bit stronger.  The only complaint I really have is that the vocals seem a bit too loud in the mix now. One of the major reasons behind getting this is probably the remastering of "Land of Frost," which, as you know, is one of my favorite Nacthfalke releases.  This time around you don't get the second demo, but you get all the tracks from this incredible album. Instead of the demo you get the Darkthrone cover from the Surtur's Lohe split. I think this is a better addition than the demo anyway, because at least it keeps up that excellent Black Metal atmsphere for the whole album, instead of breaking it with demo quality recordings.

The major reason to track this down is obviously the DVD. Here we have a great historical element of the Nachtfalke career.  This is their first show ever as a live unit on the heals of "As the Wolves Died". It's a small pub in Annaberg, so it has a very intimate setting for a live set and these are often some of the best shows a band can play.  The video begins with the band back stage donning the corpse paint an preparing for their live set. An interesting note it seems a live bassist could not be found, so they just went with two guitars.I think this is a very wise decision, since Nachtfalke's music is really reliant on two guitars. Although a bass will be missed, a second guitar would hurt the music far more due to the way Occulta-Mors arranges his songs. The video isn't a professionally done set, so it has a very home recorded feel, which is fairly perfect given the setting. Not everything is mixed impeccably and the vocals peak on the recording a lot, but it was still a fun show to watch! The crowd was fairly standard for a Black Metal performance with lots of people standing around (which is what I pretty much do at shows too), but when the band got to performing "Hail Teutonia" the crowd went nuts. This is clearly a German favorite, even the keyboardist came out, unsheathed a sword, and began head banging with wild abandon while he wasn't playing. Truly an incredible closer.

I definitely think this was worth getting even though I already owned just about all this material. I think this is fairly hard to find these days, so if you're lucky enough to find a copy of this set pick it up. It is definitely worth getting for any die hard Nacthfalke fan out there.

I can't find any samples of the live performance on youtube and I don't have the ability to make that kind of video... so take my word for it.

Nachtfalke - As the Wolves Died
Christhunt Productions, 2005
Genre: Black Metal

1. Call from Udgaard
2. Wrath of Old Gods
3. Let Me Die
4. Praise the War
5. Midsummer
6. When the Wolves Return
7. Blood and Iron (Bathory Cover)
8. Hail the Old Gods

After a couple years wait Nachtfalke return with eight new tracks to fill our need for epic Teutonic Black Metal.  This album is, no doubt, dedicated to Quorthon who passed away in the prior year. I imagine this was a blow to Occulta-Mors, given how much of an influence Quorthon clearly was for him.  I imagine it is similar to how I feel about Snorre Ruch, David Parland and Occulta-Mors. When these musicians pass on, as David Parland has, it's a blow to the person they influenced.  All three have contributed to shaping me as a musician in some fashion and making me think about music in different ways. I imagine that's how it was for Occulta-Mors when it comes to his love of Bathory.

"As the Wolves Died" is an album that brings through all the greatest aspects of Nachtfalke.  There are fast crushing Black Metal tracks like "Wrath of Old Gods" and epic slow paced songs like "Le Me Die."  "Let Me Die" actually has elements that I've been wanting to hear in Occulta-Mors' music for some time now.  I was absolutely elated to hear that song open with a medieval sounded passage before breaking into some mid-paced majestic Black Metal.

Near the end of the album we get another Bathory cover, this time an epic nearly ten minute track. Quite an excellent thing given the tribute Occulta-Mors would want for such a legendary musician. He even included harsh vocals on the performance, which made things feel a lot more dynamic.  After this we get an outro track, which sort of makes sense if the Bathory cover really belongs to part of the album.  In this case the kind of Black Metal Occulta-Mors is performing on "As the Wolves Died" actually fits quite well with the Bathory cover, so nothing feels out of place in terms of flow.

This is quite a good album and he adds that infusion of medieval style that I've always wanted him to do.  The songs tend to range from mid-paced to very fast Black Metal, but when he writes a mid-paced song it's usually of extreme epic length.  Which is fine, but the fast songs are only a few minutes long, which makes the album feel slower than normal.  The one complaint I could possibly have is that I would have liked to see more balance in this regard.  Other than that a solid album, but I think I actually liked the prior albums even more.

Nachtfalke - Land of Frost
Christhunt Productions, 2003
Genre: Black Metal

1. The Windlords
2. Ragnarök
3. Berserker
4. Immortal Home
5. Men from North
6. Land of Frost
Sturmzeitalter (1998):
7. Intro
8. Ode to the Fallen One
9. Warrior's Nightmare I
10. Warrior's Nightmare II
11. Odin
12. Asgard Riders (Outro)

"Land of Frost" brings us to the culmination of Nachtfalke's writing for me.  This is where all the previous works were trending and "Land of Frost" is where their sound is delivered in full force. I think this might be the only album without a Bathory cover song on it as well.  I think this means he'll need to record two covers on one album to make up for the missing track.

This is definitely some of the finest Nachtfalke material written so far.  The songs definitely maintain the perfect blend of vicious and majestic Black Metal all at once.  The atmosphere throughout "Ragnarok" is absolutely perfect! I do sort of miss some of the medieval elements that were ever present in some of his music, and would work great within the atmosphere he's incorporating here.  As it stands though this is still a solid block of well written Black Metal. The only track that really sort of breaks this sense of atmosphere is the title track "Land of Frost".  The track has far more of a Power Metal/Traditional Metal feel to it.  It's upbeat and there is even a Power Metal scream in there, so as not to confuse anyone with what Occulta-Mors is trying to emulate.  I usually don't like this type of material, but it actually came out okay, and a lot of this probably has to do with the fact that the vocals are predominantly harsh.

A couple of the songs' lyrics were written by Hugin of Uruk-Hai fame. He also wrote the lyrics for "Doomed to Die" and I wondered if it was the same Hugin I knew.  This must have been a great honor to work on and his lyrics are extremely good for Nachtfalke's concepts.

Even though it is not listed on the album, after the title track we have an ancient treat for those who missed out on some Nacthfalke demo material.  Occulta-Mors decided to include "Sturmzeitalter" as a bonus for this release.  The production is definitely demo quality, but if you were interested in the early stages of this band, it's a pretty good representation of what Occulta-Mors was trying to create.  I may go back and review this individually.  I actually wasn't aware this was part of the album until I started reviewing it!

In the end this is probably the best Nachtfalke material.  I really love all these songs. That careful balance of majesty and atmosphere is so well taken care of that I could just listen to this album over and over again.  I truly highly recommend this and while "The Windlords" is probably my favorite track, I could only find "Immortal Home" for sampling below.

Nachtfalke - Doomed to Die
Christhunt Productions, 2002
Genre: Black Metal

1. Valhall
2. Pestkrieg
3. One Home of Once Brave (Bathory Cover)
4. Fallen Heroes
5. Einherjer (Doomed to Die)

For Nachtfalke's second album we have one of the shortest albums in Occulta-Mors' career!  It's around thirty-five minutes in length, but all very solid material.  We only get five songs this time around including the obligatory Bathory cover.

"Doomed to Die" launches right off with "Valhall", which is the sort of Black Metal song that gives off an older Thrash vibe in most of the writing.  The clean vocals are almost entirely taken off the table for this release.  The focus on using harsh vocals make the release sound a lot more powerful, in my opinion, and works best with the music Occulta-Mors writes.  The only time the clean vocals show up is in the Bathory cover and this sits right in the middle of the album.  I think it would have been better to put the cover as a closing track, because hearing "Pestkrieg" followed by "Fallen Heroes" would have been awesome!  Both songs are just perfect Black Metal tracks.  The album closes off with the epic "Einherjer" and this generates some extremely good atmosphere.  It's both epic and majestic in scope and I would love to hear Occulta-Mors dedicate a full album to this style of composition.  Maybe even minus the obligatory Bathory cover... unless he wants to do something off of "Blood Fire Death", which might fit the scope of the atmosphere.

Now that we've gotten beyond the demo days of Nachtfalke, we get to hear all new compositions from Occulta-Mors and these are some of his finest for this project.  If he keeps trending in this direction he might end up writing music that is even better than that of Moonblood... although I find this highly unlikely from my point of view.  Either way, I highly recommend.

Nachtfalke - Hail Victory Teutonia
Christhunt Productions, 2001
Genre: Black Metal

1. Ode to the Fallen One
2. Searched and Found
3. Asgard Riders
4. War in Asgard
5. Man of Iron (Bathory Cover)
6. Warriors Nightmare
7. Vikingdance (Under the Flag of Odin's Son)
8. To Honour Wotan
9. Nordic Warriors
10. Hail Teutonia
11. You're So Wrong (Black Widow Cover)

We finally get to Nachtfalke's debut release and there are some parts of this I find rather curious.  First off I think this is one of the first release to feature music performed by Occulta-Mors on CD.  Maybe it's because of the record label or he just decided it's becoming more rare to have a CD, given how much distribution is being done in digital form nowadays!  I remember back in 2001 when the notion of an mp3 was a new idea and it was all the craze for people to share them. It was like modern day Tape trading, at least that's how it felt when I ran into the mp3 scene.  I remember when people considered 192kbps to be of the "highest quality" with reasonable storage requirements.  These days we have things like .flac format and a lot of mp3's are ripped in 320kbps without a second thought!  I rip my collection in 320, but I usually insist as much as possible to own physical copies and I transfer all my own material.

The curious part about "Hail Victory Teutonia" is that it's not all new material.  In fact everything that has appeared on the last two releases (except for the Darkthrone cover) appears on this album, in pretty much the order in which it was originally released.  So really we only get the last four tracks as new material.  It feels more like this is a compilation of already released material with some new material to make it worth your while.  There's no information about when the material was recorded, but the first two tracks from the original Nachtfalke demo sound a lot better, so I think this is all re-recorded in a studio.  "Search and Found" seems to be a bit faster to me, or at least seems to have more blast beats. Even though "Asgard Riders" is meant to be an outro, I actually find it to be a great intro for "War in Asgard"!  The clean vocal section on this song has an under layer of harsh vocals, so that gives it a way more powerful approach.  Maybe that layer was in the original, but I couldn't hear it that well.

When we finally get to the new material the recording quality feels a little different.  The drum production is very strong, but the guitars are fairly fuzzy.  However, this gives way to a very workable atmosphere that is extremely good.  The Bathory influence is even more apparent with the first verse being sung clean.  However, the sheer volume of echo on this makes it pretty hard to make out what is being sung.  The words just overlap into each other way too much.  As far as my preferences go, I'd rather Occulta-Mors stick with the harsh vocals, but at least he switches them up and doesn't sing clean all the time.  This is good, because if it was all clean singing I think I would just get annoyed. The guitar line under the harsh verse is extremely good!  I really want to hear more of this stuff.  It's similar to Bathory's Viking Metal, but with some of the epicness taken away and putting in a heavy dose of strength.  So Nachtfalke's interpretation of this genre sounds both epic and powerful.  After this things get Blackened up a bit more, but it's blended in with some extremely epic sequences and I really love the direction Nachtfalke is heading with this material.

The album closes out with a Black Widow cover, which is a really strange thing to finish with.  Black Widow isn't very epic sounding and with Occulta-Mors' insistence on making a close copy of the song, it sounds extremely out of place. I don't think this was a great way to end off an album of extremely epic Teutonic Black Metal. In reading the liner notes it says that the lyrics were translated Gaamalzagoth, which is sort of sad, because I think the songs would have sounded even more powerful in his native German.  So, that was a little sad to see.

In the end this is a great album.  Sheer epic Teutonic Black Metal like only Occulta-Mors could do it.  It may not have the same approach as Moonblood and I will forever miss that project, but Nachtfalke is at least publishing some high quality material. I look forward to their next release.

Nachtfalke & Luror Split
Fog of the Apocalypse, 2000
Genre: Black Metal

Nachtfalke: War in Asgard
1. War in Asgard
2. Man of Iron (Bathory Cover)
3. Warriors Nightmare
4. Vikingdance "Under the Flag of Odins Son"
Luror: Faustus M-Angel-E
5. The Degenerated Art of Your Love
6. Vague Visions - Burning Blood
7. When Blood is Spiked
8. Faustus M-Angel-E

Side Luror: ...coming eventually...
Side Nachtfalke:

Nachtfalke return with a second split this year.  This time with Luror... which I'm not sure matches up so well and in fact Nachtfalke's material on here would have matched with Surturs Lohe a lot more I think.  Nachtfalke commit four new songs to this split meaning this needed to be a 12" vinyl.  As usual with Occulta-Mors material this is limited to 500 hand-numbered copies and I own #242.

The Nachtfalke side of this split is incredible!  I think there are still some refinements Occulta-Mors can accomplish.  For example "War in Asgard" feels a little cut and paste with the arrangements.  It starts with a magnificent medieval styled clean section before launching into some really powerful Black Metal.  The material has come a long way from the first recorded demo material.  It seems Occulta-Mors is taking all that Medieval Black Metal influence he was bringing into Moonblood and recasting it here. I really love it and now I greatly look forward to future Nacthfalke releases.  The song "Warriors Nightmare" is simply spectacular! Probably my favorite song on the release. Rather than having the droning and plodding Metal on the first release, he's drawn a lot from the Bathory Viking Metal sound and Blackened it up a bit.  The end result is quite amazing.  There is even a Bathory cover on here... rather unsurprising, however, I was surprised Occulta-Mors to sing the song rather than scream through it.  It kind of gives the track ordering an odd feel since it's the second song.

In the end this is some real solid material and I greatly look forward to what Occulta-Mors has in store for us in the future.  I think it's about time he put together an albums worth of material after tweaking his material ever so slightly.  I would like to hear those medieval aspects blended in with the main parts of songs a bit more, rather than "here's the medieval section" and "here's the Black Metal section".  I would like to see them blended more cohesively, which is something I think he can totally do.

Surturs Lohe & Nachtfalke Split
Christhunt Productions, 2000
Genre: Black Metal

Suturs Lohe:
1. Brennende Sturme
2. Transilvanian Hunger (Darkthrone Cover)

Side Surtures Lohe: ...coming eventually...

For Nachtfalke's second official work, a split with fellow German Pagan Black Metallers Surturs Lohe is released.  The cover for the Nachtfalke side is awesome and this 7" vinyl is limited to 333 copies, of which I own #204.

Given who the split was with I was expecting some solid Viking Metal from both projects, but from Nachtfalke we get a Darkthrone cover.  I'm surprised this wasn't, at least, a Bathory cover.  I do find it strange that such a grim Black Metal song was chosen, since it doesn't match the Surturs Lohe song at all and gives the split a very disjointed feel between the two projects.

All that being said, Nachtfalke did a great job covering this song.  It really brings back some of the Moonblood days, even though Moonblood material is still sort of being released around this time.  Occulta-Mors manages to show that he really can hit the higher range of vocals needed for Black Metal.  Everything about his performance is solid and true to the original song.  I sort of wish there was a slightly new take on the song, but doing a cover this well is still quite impressive.

Nachtfalke - Nachtfalke
Erzschlag, 1999
Genre: Black/Viking Metal

1. Ode to the Fallen One
2. Search and Found/Asgard Riders

Alright, I give up trying to find the first two Nachtfalke demos.  I even give up trying to find them on mp3!  So I begin with the self titled EP, which is actually the same material featured on 1997's "Zeit der Wolfe".  So, in some respects, I guess this is basically having the first demo.  This seems to be a very do-it-yourself kind of vinyl.  It's not a normal sleeve that houses the vinyl, instead it's just two pieces of paper folded over.  This doesn't seem to be professionally printed either, instead it's just xeroxed or something like that.  The Nachtfalke logo on the top seems to be a sticker.  So it really has that sort of home-made feel, which is one of the more interesting aspects of the stuff Occulta-Mors and his projects tend to have.  This vinyl is limited to 333 copies and I own #56.

For those who don't know, Occulta-Mors is the musical mastermind behind the project Moonblood.  I'm sure everyone knows how much I love Moonblood, however, the creation of Nachtfalke is sort of a sad start for me, since this basically marks the end of Moonblood.  However, since Nachtfalke fell under the realms of the Black Metal genre, I had relatively high hopes for the project. The demo material is raw and recorded in a similar vein of a Moonblood demo, so the quality is similar to the late 90's Moonblood material.  The music, though, is entirely different. If you were expecting some terrifically well composed and fast Black Metal, then you didn't get what you thought.  Nachtfalke is a slowly plodding project where the songs meander on and on.  The atmosphere is somewhat reminiscent of Doom, but that may only be due to the pace of the music.  "Search and Found" has a distinct Bathory worship feel.  Which should come as no surprise given how many Bathory covers Moonblood spent their time doing.

How do the vocals fair without the Gaamalzagoth treatment?  Actually, fairly well.  I'm surprised how good of a vocalist Occulta-Mors wound up being.  In Nachtfalke he favors more of the lower range of the vocal spectrum, not quite getting into the realms of Death Metal, but almost.  He certainly doesn't hit the highs in the same fashion of Gaamalzagoth, but I thought his performance was quite impressive overall.

Overall the project seems alright.  It's not as well thought out as Moonblood, but I feel like this is fairly new ground for Occulta-Mors.  Over time he might get a better vision for the direction this project should go.  It seems like he has a solid idea, but his approach isn't as high quality as some of the other projects out there. I have high hopes that Occulta-Mors can bring forth something really interesting.  I still love having this early stage of Nacthfalke in my collection though!

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