Review: Ungfell – Mythen, Mären, Pestilenz (Eisenwald Tonschmiede, Mar 23)

Ungfell, primarily Zürich-based musician Menetekel with help from occasional other members, won my heart last year with TôtbringæreIt blended many of my favorite aspects of black metal, including aggressive vocals and rawness, with others I don’t usually enjoy very much. such as melodic elements and folk instrumentation. It wasn’t a combination that sounded appealing to me at first, but the record quickly became one of my favorite metal releases of the year. Here, on Mythen, Mären, Pestilenz, Menetekel works with the same toolkit, but manages to create a final product that is distinct from its predecessor. The folk passages are more isolated and fleshed out, and this time around would be better described as actual songs rather than just interludes. Ungfell’s distinct lo-fi charisma is still present with the fuzzy guitars and full-bodied shrieks, but the songwriting is much more refined and the melodies better integrated. On my first listen, this seemed to be a drawback, but after revisiting I’ve once again changed my tune. Despite initially seeming to disrupt the album’s flow, the folk songs are a welcome ingredient, mixing well with both the atmospheric passages and the catchy tremolo melodies. The stylistic melting pot found on Mythen, Mären, Pestilenz is undeniably magnetic, and is sure to draw in fans of all sorts of music.

Buy the LP here.