Wednesday, January 4, 2017

My journey with Surturs Lohe's album

Surturs Lohe (Germany)
Don't you wish you were smarter? I do! Sometimes I just do not get what a band is doing, I can't grasp where they are going. In some cases I leave the music aside. I don't understand it or I just do not like it.
For a long time I had a negative view of this band and I disliked what they do. I was annoyed with this music.
Today all that changed. The light bulb came on and everything was as clear as summer daylight. It made sense. The pieces fell into place and I finally understood.
Here’s what happened. I was tired and ready to fall asleep. I wanted my nap after a long day at work. I pressed play and expected to pass out in a few minutes; not because the music had that effect on me, but because the music had no effect on me and the sleepiness was going to win out.
I did not fall asleep. In fact, I woke up, really woke up and it's because the music woke me up.
Does that ever happen to you? What changed? The music is the same, so what happened? The loose wires somehow find ways to connect, the connections clicked and the control board said, "We are ready for launch. All systems go."
Surturs Lohe is folk metal and extreme metal at the same time. On the first song they sound like black metal, more or less. Very quickly, on the second song the music takes a turn for ethereal sounds, operatic or folk melodic singing, mellow and slow music, which later on will bring in the electric guitar and the metal elements. That right there is a rather accurate portrayal of the band. It is not headbanging metal. They are not here to rock.
They want to rock, but only a little bit. Mostly, they want to play folk music with a mellow and melodic atmosphere. There is metal music in here for sure, but it's only 50% or even less than that, maybe 40% or 35%. In other words, they don't care to prove anything to anyone. They do what they want. Take it or leave it.
I did not take it. I left it. Until now. Why? Maybe I needed more time. Maybe you could do the same. They have quality in the music. They have talent and skills. The production is good. The songs are good. They are different from what I hear every day. They do melodic singing and extreme metal vocals. They play fast, melodic extreme metal segments in the black metal way. They summon big folky energies. They do all this; and it took me a long time to enjoy it.
Several times I was on the verge of deleting this album. I almost did it. I looked at the button and I was going to push it real good. I was there. I was convinced that this band is hopeless.
This begs the question. Could it be that many other metal listeners would enjoy this music more if they gave themselves some time to hear this music more fully?
I reckon they might.
By the way, I never did take that nap.
[by MMB]
OFFICIAL: In celebration of the 20th anniversary of their existence, nature-loving German pagan metallers Surturs Lohe from Thuringia will release their fourth full-length album “Seelenheim” via the German label Einheit Produktionen. “Seelenheim“, which translates to “Home of Souls” will be available on September 2nd 2016 in a digipak CD edition as well as in a limited box-set, including patch, poster and an additional CD with 2 bonus tracks and the remastered “Udra” demo. Surturs Lohe was founded in 1996 by Ragnfalt and Tristan. In the course of the years the band members have changed and from the original founders only Ragnfalt is still active in the band. Surturs Lohe has released up to date the demo “Urda” in 1999, three full-length albums, “Wo einst Elfen Tanzten” in 2000, “Vor Walvaters Thron” in 2002, “Nornenwerk” in 2011, as well as one split EP with Odal in 2004. Several band members of Surturs Lohe are also active in other pagan metal bands, such as Menhir, Odroerir and Fimbulvet.

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