Just one year has past since the amazing debut of Ungfell was released. And now they already published their second album via Eisenwald Tonschmiede. For me “Mythen, Mähren, Pestilenz” came out of the blue. But it fulfills all expectations that “Tôtbringære” created. Even more: Ungfell developed their unorthodox approach on black metal to a very unique trademark sound.
First of all Ungfell use a thicker and more powerful production on “Mythen, Mähren, Pestilenz”. It is still raw and cold, but shows more details of the manifold music. And it simply sounds better. So it might be more pleasant to the wider audience that the band will get for sure. Once of course due to the exposure they’ll get with Eisenwald. And on the other hand because this album is a refreshing view on this kind of music, that emerges the masses of nowadays swamp of extreme metal.
The ingredients to this unique blend are still the same. Starting the records with a plain medieval theme, there are plenty of elements from ancient folk on “Mythen, Mähren, Pestilenz”. More obvious in the instrumental interludes - or even the most pleasant medieval track “Guggisberglied” that comes with bewitching female vocals on top. But mostly the folk and medieval aspect comes more subtile into the songs. Sometimes there are decent additional instruments over the grimm black metal music. And sometimes there are whole passages that out of a sudden turn a song into a totally different direction. For example “Der Ritter Von Lasarraz” which turns into a medieval part even before the song really started.
Ungfell uses those elements from folk and medieval music not for themselves but to build versatile yet fluent songs that take various turns without loosing focus. There are incredible riffs that vary throughout a song, develop into other themes and back again to their origins. Everything is in constant flow, full of fierce fire and furious energy. Having this intelligent twists, that keep the tracks exciting despite running times of more than five minutes.
A reason why the awesome melodies of Ungfell are so exciting, full of life and energy may be the fact that most of them are performed polyphonous. In the most simple way there is an incredible harmony on the guitar that gets support by a really good implemented bass line. In the best case there are even two guitars that supplement each other, and that get backed by an outstanding bass lick. And in some moments even some medieval instruments, accordion or cello get into the music as well, providing additional layers to the versatile and vivid music of Ungfell.
Furthermore there are a lot of small details that enhance this already incredible foundation. The awesome exchange between growls and screams. The sudden usage of clean chorals in “Die Heidenburg” or “Die Raserei Des Unholds”. Those small references to surf or psychobilly in the guitar style, using heavy tremolo and reverb. And for me the Swiss/German lyrics that are a perfect supplement to the harsh music of “Die Hexenbrut Zu Nirgendheim” - which still reminds me a lot of the ancient music published on Last Episode Records.
“Mythen, Mären, Pestilenz” is an outstanding album in so many aspects. With fierce fury, obsessed and coy melodies and a kinky groove, Ungfell created their very own style of playful yet hateful black metal. An awesome album.