Title: Når Alting Er Glemt...
03 Da Old Var Årle
08 Om Hundrede År
09 Når Regn Falder
10 Tomhed Mørke
11 Inn Riki
The Czech label Ravenheart Productions started out as a pure black metal label in 1999, but they started to release other forms of music in the more recent years as well. Object 4, Raison D'être and Dahlia's Tear have released something through this label, and the most recent additions are Kenji Siratori's Crypt Mind (is there anywhere this guy hasn't appeared yet?) and Othala's third release, called Når Alting Er Glemt... This Danish neofolk band are rather unknown, and their first two releases, Midnats Minder (2000) and Under Sol Og Måne (2002), are selfreleased. Når Alting Er Glemt... is longer than the two previous released, clocking in at 44 minutes and eleven beautiful tracks.
Othala exists out of two men; Priiskorn, who plays bass, synths, shaman drums and vocals, and Bolander, who plays guitar, does the lyrics and vocals. There are three guests on this album; Nanna Barslev who contributes vocals, Oliver Holm on drums and Bue Thorin on guitar. What's especially wonderful about this album is the incorporation of female vocals (Nanna) in neofolk music. Sadly, this doesn't happen that often with neofolk, but when it does happen, it's bound to be very convincing. Nanna contributes vocals to no less than six of the eleven songs. The first song she appears on is Da Old Var Årle, which is a very delicate and fragile song of crystalline beauty.
The male vocals delivered on this album range from raw to downright black metal sort of screams. I have a certain weakness for folk with welldelivered screams and grunts, and the male vocals on this album are indeed very well delivered. Sometimes, even the music seems to go towards metal, especially with track eight; Om Hundrede År. It starts with a heavily distorted guitarnoise drone and clean guitar layer played over that. The vocals are mostly spoken, and the drums/percussion is nearly absent. Towards the end, the song actually turns into black metal, with additional ethereal female vocals.
Othala draws in four of the tracks lyrical inspiration from the Edda. That, together with the bandname, which is of course the final rune of the Futhark, and the fact that all songs are in Danish, make this release stand firmly in culture and tradition. This is what this band stands for, and they are able to pull the heathen ancestry and influences off a lot better than most German neofolk bands do. Especially with a ritual song like Inn Riki.
If you like neofolk, but are looking for a band to stand out from the crowd, this is definitely one to go for. With 1000 copies being released, it's not going to be sold out too soon, but it will be sold out for sure. So if you don't want to miss out on one of the most promising neofolk releases from this year, be sure to pick this up from the label at the very low price of only €7 / $10.