Beorn’s Hall – Mountain Hymns (Naturmacht Productions)
I have very little info on Beorn’s Hall. All I can tell you is that they are from the US (from the misty mountains of New Hampshire). There are just 3 band members and that this is their debut album… apart from that, I know more about where their band name came from (Lord of the Rings) that I do about anything else, as far as the band are concerned…
So what this mysterious trio offer up, is a mix of raw Black Metal with a more soothing Pagan side. With lots of acoustics, chanting etc…
The Black Metal side has some very cool old school grooves going on, and the old school approach applies to the production as well. The sound overall is lacking in bass and a bit of oomph and it relies on the feelgood factor of the music to carry it through. Yes, I would like it to sound a bit more powerful, but would that detract from the warmth it exudes?
I’ll take the cautious approach and I’ll stick with what we’ve got
And you can look at this album anyway you want. A nod to the likes of Bathory, or a Black Metal version of the Lord of the Rings… either choice does this justice.
From the mesmerizing chants on the opening number, A Conjuring of Clouds, through the gentle spoken word passages of Beneath The Hooves of Sleipnir to the epic Pagan choirs of Lord of Silver Fountains, this is an exercise in creating atmospheric Metal that really draws you in.
Metal should be about escapism. The 40 or so minutes here take you away to another place, albeit to a world of dragons and mountains… well, that’s where I went… and for that alone, the band must be applauded… especially as I doubt this was done on much of a budget.