:OF THE WAND & THE MOON: - Sonnenheim - CD - 14 tracks - Heiðrunar|Myrkrunar - 2005

To say that OTWATM's fourth album was long awaited would almost be an understatement. Recorded over a period of two years this new offering reminds you why Kim Larsen is considered as one of the major players in the neofolk scene. 'Sonnenheim' is the sum of everything that should be present on a good neofolk album: pleasant melodious folk tunes, enigmatic lyrics dealing with Nordic mysteries and a beautiful-looking artwork.

If the "appetiser" 7" 'Hail Hail Hail' showed a more experimental aspect of this project, 'Sonnenheim' sees OTWATM return to the basics that made their fame. With the exception of a few experimental/ritualistic tracks such as 'Camouflage,' 'Lieblos Bis Zur Dunkelheit,' and 'I Shall Feast', all the songs on this album are based on strummed acoustic guitar and Kim's whispered vocals which are pleasantly completed by a few electronics, John Murphyesque percussions and Andreas Ritter himself on the accordion. A time-tested formula that works perfectly on 'Black Moth', 'Nighttime in Sonnenheim', 'Summer Solstice', 'My Black Faith', 'Hollow Upon Hollow', 'Winter Solstice', etc… even if it may sound a bit repetitive after a while for someone who is not a neofolk purist.
Of course, like with most bands in this particular niche, the songs bear the strong hallmark of Death In June's genre-defining albums 'But What Ends…' and 'Rose Clouds of Holocaust'. But in a genre that has never been particularly renowned for it's innovation this is not something that can be held against OTWATM. Especially as the technical and sound quality of this album reach a level of perfection that a great majority of DIJ clones could never even hope to attain.

All in all, 'Sonnenheim' is good album with more focus and pleasanter sounding songs than the band's previous album 'Lucifer'. It is, obviously, strongly recommended to any self-respecting neofolk aficionado.

Ian C.
Winter 2006

'Sonnenheim comes in lavish digipack with embossed gold foil-blocked titles and debossed images completed by a 12 page booklet with all the texts.

Of The Wand And The Moon: www.ofthewandandthemoon.dk

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