HOLLENTHON - Domus Mundi LP (Black Vinyl) Pre-order
Release date: 30th June 2023
Available from NAPALM RECORDS:
An unique album far ahead of its time in 1999 and an absolute classic! This album mixes Folk, Death Metal, and Pagan Metal. First time on vinyl!
I was introduced to Hollenthon in 1999 when “Domus Mundi” was released. “Domus Mundi” has since been a favorite album that I always like to hear again, due to its endless replay value and
unique style that no other Metal band can replicate. All the more amazing since it was all created and arranged by one man, namely Martin Schirenc, known best for his work in Pungent Stench.
This album would be best described as Orchestral Extreme Metal, though epic, folky, and medieval are all also adequate adjectives for this work. Schirenc proves that he is not only a great guitarist, but also a brilliant arranger, integrating Gregorian Chants, Spoken Word, Middle Eastern ethnic music, native New Zealand war chants, and heaps of classical music into his music. Samples range from Rimsky-Korsakoffs “Sheherezade” to a bagpipe film from the film Braveheart, to spoken samples from Ridley Scott’s Legend, and a whole lot more. These samples add such a unique touch to the album and make it extremely diverse, something you never heard before.
Schirenc uses simple song structures and employs hooks in his guitar work to keep long songs and repetitive structures interesting. Variation often also occour, with harmonies being employed often as well. The guitar tone is very low end oriented, and the dropped tuning helps reinforce the very heavy feel that the guitar brings to the table. Basically, Schirenc employs the guitar in almost every way possible for a metal band, even adding a great solo at the end of Eclipse “Vita Nova” which serves as a 2-minute ending to the epic song.
Drumming is top notch, done by Mike Gröger of Raventhrone. It is technical to grab interest on its own, yet it doesn’t get in the way at all. The production is great. Fills are very nice, creating smooth transitions, and the simple time and dynamics, as well as Grögers consistency are remarkable.
In addition to Schirencs harsh vocals, similar to his Pungent Stench work, there are also female vocals done by his ex-wife. They add nice diversity to the music, creating even more interest and variation to the already unique sound. The keyboards also add a nice touch and are used sparingly as well. Mostly during sampled orchestral parts, or chants, Schirenc employs layers of keyboards to reinforce polyphony, and at first it is very likely you won’t even notice all the keyboard melodies.
In all, this is one of the most unique and creative albums I have heard, and anyone seeking a unique metal sound should not hesitate in getting this album. The sheer depth of the album and its endless variance make it an album no one should be without in their collection.
1. Enrapture - Hinc Illæ Lacrim
2. Homage - Magni Nominis Umbra
3. Vestige - Non Omnis Moriar
4. Lure - Pallida Mors
5. Interlude - Ultima Ratio Regum
6. Reprisal - Malis Avibus
7. Premonition - Lex Talionis
8. Eclipse - Vita Nova