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Mondvolland - d’Olde Roop

Mondvolland - d’Olde Roop

Label : Apollon Records | Archive under black metal

Release type: Full-length CD

Neithan : The Dutch city Arnhem and its surroundings have a reputation when it comes down to pagan/ black metal and the latest band from that area to come up with an album is Mondvolland. The band started in 2005, released two demos and in 2009 the EP with the peculiar title '...Daar Naast de Urthensula!', but now the debut is finally there. I think a period of five years is in general a good time from start to adulthood, because in such a time the band has time to grow into its own style. It also becomes obvious that the band is beyond the starting phase: otherwise they would have never gotten Ask / 2-1-3 from Kampfar, and those who know him - which are quite a lot of people in the Netherlands - know this man will not play in some dumbass band. So far the information ahead.

How about the music then. Well, it may be a bit unfair perhaps, but as a starting band you will always be compared to more famous bands for reviewing purposes, and Lords of Metal is not exception to that rule. When playing pagan- black metal and hailing from Arnhem, the first name to pop up is of course Heidevolk. Well, it´s not fair to compare them to these Dutch Saxons, even if both bands have Irma Vos as fiddler. Sure, in some vocal choruses there can be seen similarities, but if there is one band from Arnhem which has a similar feeling I end up with the late Fluisterwoud, even if this band was more pure black metal. Just listen to the fast black metal arrangements in songs like 'De Roep Der Gevallen Helden´ and ´Vastelavond´, even if this last song also contains a considerable dosis of folk. Another band to compare them with, is Dutch Grimm, also because of their mix of black and pagan metal, and the usage of both rasping and clean vocals. The album starts with midtempo ´Stemmen In De Avond´, a song which takes me back - regarding the atmosphere - of Grimm's masterpiece 'Heksenkringen', just that the part in the centre of the song is more furious black metal. On the second song, 'De Vuurman Van Papendal', the traditional folk instruments such as the flute and violin start entering the music in a prominent way, which makes the song apart from versatile also very catchy in the choruses. Those easy to catch melodies also show up in 'Daar, Waar Donar Dondert' and 'De Witte Juffer Van Kernheim'. I've heard several people draw a comparison to Kampfar (must be the drummer thing) but in all honesty I can not hear this back, only at the beginning of 'Vastelavond', yet when the violin starts in this song it is as much Kampfar as Mondvolland sounds like Heidevolk (which is a big fat "no way”).

'd'Olde Roop' is a strong debut, especially to fans of Dutch/ Flemmish pagan black but I don't think the band is there yet. Okay, the production is simple yet adequate (your can hear each instrument very well, including the bass and as such you can hear that the band masters their instruments), but I think there can be put some more depth into the songs and especially the clean vocals have to be worked on,since they sound on occasions too monotonous to impress. I can come into the objection of Kampfar fans that Mondvolland sounds a bit too happy because of the extensive use of flute and especially violin, but if you are into Grimm and Fluisterwoud, and are appealed by the themes and language of Heidevolk, then this 'd'Olde Roop' is a very promising debut which lifts the band way above the average pagan release from the low countries…

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