VAN 2006

Germany is home to so many quality black metal bands and here is another one that belongs to that well established scene.  Kermania though firmly footed within the black metal camp has a lot of folk roots sprouting their way up through that potent foundation.  Ahnenwerk is comprised of 4 tracks but two are over 20 minutes long and are akin to a musical representation of an epic journey.  The reason I view these long tracks this way is because they cover quite a long spectrum of musical themes from fast black metal infernos to slower, more emotional and pompous passages with clean and militant shrieks interchanging and playing off one another.  My favorite track is the dismally sorrowful track Heimatferne Rast with its slow and oppressively sad riffs that open the song that build up but never seem to break the mid-tempo range except in very short and controlled outbursts.  Weigand makes good use of acoustic guitar at key points during the album and serves to really enhance the pagan feelings throughout.  Also one of my favorite parts of the album are on Heimatferne Rast towards the 9 minute mark where the riff just pounds away while the drums burst into constantly shifting fills as the riff dies.  It is really dramatic to my ears.  The vocals have a type of delay on them and are on the high ended shriek section of the scale which reminds me a lot of Forgotten Woods.  The clean vocals are not really operatic but serve as a contrast to the black metal vocals while also reminding the listener of the pagan heritage of northern Europe.  The lyrics are all in German but I think most listeners will get the point of Ahnenwerk regardless.  Kermania is a solid though not amazing band that seems to finding its identity and making headway into its own niche.  I like the album a lot though it is not one of my favorite works that I have heard recently.  Some stronger songwriting and a more bombastic sort of production and I think Kermania will be a force to recon with in the future.