DARKWOOD - The Final Hour - CD - 11 tracks - Heidenvolk - 2003

Heidenvolk is Darkwood's original label. Since 1999 and the brilliant debut album 'In the fields', all Darkwood's material has been released by this label, the exception being the 10" 'Weltenwende' released through Eis & Licht. For people into neofolk music, there is no need to present Darkwood, the project of the talented Henryk Vogel, that gratified us, along the years, with three really good albums, a 7" 'Talions' and more recently a 10"... The band has also played several live performances during these last years, in Germany and in Switzerland... So, one can't deny that a live album was something that was hoped for and expected from the people who have had the opportunity to assist a Darkwood concert and for the less lucky ones as well... And here it is! Released last July by Heidenvolk, 'The Final Hour' presents a selection of eleven live tracks performed at the "Wave-Gotik-Treffen" in Leipzig in May 2002, at the "Château Yverdon-les-Bains" in Switzerland in August 2002 and at the "Black Festival" in Darmstadt in May 2003.
The overall impression is that of a very pleasant record to listen to, which manages to transmit the power, the intensity that float in the atmosphere of a Darkwood concert, as well as the particular feeling of an intimist concert such as the one of Yverdon... this is the main snag with a live release and it has been avoided with brio! Ambient and martial compositions like 'Blancs Moussis' or 'Night' are present as well as pure neofolk ballads like 'The Dusk Draws Near'...
'The Final Hour' offers a fine overview of Darkwood's compositions performed live over the years and suggests that some songs like 'Stiller Bund' or 'Epitaph' that show a strong potential on record, reveal themselves fully when played on stage... The only negative argument could be the short length of this CD (a bit more than 30 minutes) but nevertheless this live will find easily its place in all good neofolk discographies, next to the other Darkwood albums.

There was a limited edition for the collectors with the first 102 copies delivered in a wooden box fitted with metal containing an engraved red wine glass and a Darkwood patch that is now sold out.
Fortunately, the 'regular' edition of this CD is still available and comes in a nicely realised digipack.

A new recommended piece in Darkwood's consequent discography!

Nathalie F.
Autumn 2003

Contact: www.darkwood.de
Heidenvolk: www.heidenvolk.de