Stein - :Haldor: (CD, Heimatfolk/Steinklang)

I have mentioned a several times, that I'm not a big fan of German Neofolk. To many musical dilletants, to often The Führer's glancing from behind. But Stein reconciled me with the genre. ":Haldor:" is a nice album, I can recommend without remorse. Not everything is perfect, but it's an honest album.

Some may know singer and writer Norbert Strahl from his former bands Dies Natalis and Seelenthron. With Stein he opens a new chapter of the same book - for more than twelve years he's doing folk influenced music. So you can say his heart belongs to this kind of sound and you can hear this as well. With Mario Storch (git, voc, trump), Julia Wnetrzak (git, back-voc), Elisa Oertelt (base, choir) and Robert Heinke (perc) he has found dedicated musicians, that make Stein a real band.
":Haldor:" consists of ten songs, all touched by a melancholic romanticism. Norbert Strahl's leading vocals, the flowing guitar chords and percussion are the main "tools" of Stein. They create from it catchy tunes, that can be sung in a reduced version on every camp fire, by this not loosing their depth. This can also be credited to the touching lyrics - some of them taken from poems of Strahls grandfather. Not to forget the fine cover version of "Am Fenster" a ground-breaking hymn from GDR-times. So it's a bit sad, if you don't speak German...

Of cause there are some things to critisize. Maybe some people won't like Strahls voice - but that's the problem, every singer has. By myself I'm not always happy with the background choirs. For me sometimes it's a bit to much, sloping into kitsch. But this is not a reason to damn the album for. Songs like "Norwegen" easily help me to forget my little animosities.

If you like Folk music besides chord-covered misanthropy, just check this out!



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