Released: 2014, Metal Promotions
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Hangatyr were formed in 2006. In 2010, German label Nocturnal Empire picked up their first full-length release, Helwege. This, their second album Elemente is a well played slab of Pagan black metal, there are elements of the much missed Windir present here which, in my book is not a bad thing.
The interesting production on this recording adds to the atmospherics of the album giving the music a slightly swirling effect giving the impression of the maelstrom of battle or perhaps a particularly violent blizzard. The flipside to this is that the vocals are quite low in the mix, even for a black metal production and there are times, particularly on the intro to ‘Zwichen den Ufern’ when the second guitar is a little lost in the mix.
This is a shame because from what can be heard the fretwork interplay between Ali and Tele is a particularly epic on this track.
The guitar-work on this album is a particular highlight with the 2 guitarists interplaying well and weaving an intricate tapestry of neo folk riffs. Another anomaly here is the pacing of the tracks, much of the album is typically lightening paced black metal, however the pairing of the atmospheric intro; Elemente and the first track proper; ‘Die Sprache der Zwölf’ show a more measured approach which includes a particularly intricate clean guitar interlude.
This sensitivity to dynamics does not really manifest itself again until the album’s closing track; ‘Rückzug’ where the tempo is slowed a little with a slightly more controlled vibe. These little idiosyncrasies are where Hangatyr really shine, it’s a little frustrating that they don’t play to this more. Perhaps I’m being a little over-critical here, this band is obviously talented and their ear for a good melody through the harshness of their delivery is undeniable.
In summary this band have produced a good record that has moments of great promise and I would say that if they carry on in the same vein in the future there is a strong possibility that they’ll be spoken of in the same hushed tones as some of the leaders of the genre.
Review by Scrios