Diamond Eyed Princess - Korlgueläal
Northern Silence Productions
Pagan/Black Metal
9 songs (40:31)
Release year: 2010
Northern Silence
Reviewed by Vrechek
Album of the month

The second of the two albums from Northern Silence Productions I'm reviewing might sound a lot like Belenos at first glance, however once you sink your teeth into Diamond Eyed Princess' new opus Korlgueläal you'll find that they are quite different. Of the two albums, I must admit that I find this to be the superior French Pagan Metal product, however that is not to say that Yen Son Gardis was bad, only that Korlgueläal was exceedingly excellent. Sure, it has a few issues, but as a whole Korlgueläal is an excellent album with a lot of individual quirks that make it stand out.

Admittedly, the first track after the awesome intro is not the best. Kregan is a short, fast, and slightly folksy Melodic Black Metal track with not much else going for it. It's with Tüm fornorhvok that the album really takes off, giving us the first taste of the great variety to come. While it starts out deceptively simple as many of the songs here do, it later grows into a raging inferno of early Emperor worship mixed with some Pagan Metal. The followup title track has a greater dynamic in terms of speed and folk elements, being more soothing to the ears after the viciously evil Tüm fornorhvok. It serves as a nice segue to the less blast-happy, more Celtic/Folk influenced Svarn lak dral, sounding a tad like Eluveitie but not as gratingly Metalcore-tinged.

Tüm dralver flöna returns the album to heavier territory with more downtuned guitars than we're used to, though eventually it does switch to being more epic and grand than gritty and evil. Klön is a little oddity: the shortest track here including the intro, comprised mainly of vaguely hypnotic and repetitious chord progressions over a steady drumbeat. Two part closer Drytorr retreads a lot of the ground covered throughout the album, finishing with an upbeat but solemn riff that transitions into an acoustic guitar playing the same melody.

Track by track reviews are bad form, but I just couldn't help it in this case. There's so much variety to be found here; each track sounds almost completely different from one another, and yet they mesh so magnificintly. Diamond Eyed Princess pushes quite a few of my favorite buttons, sometimes evoking Moonsorrow or Equillibrium or the aforementioned mighty Emperor, and doing it without coming off as cheap, unoriginal, or pandering. One other thing that is quite nice is that the band doesn't indulge in tremolo-picking abuse, choosing instead to use a more straightforward approach save when the icy edge will make the most impact.

Aside from a few unspectacular songs (Kregan and Klön mainly), and a few pieces here and there I'm not too fond of (though they rotate out fast enough that it's not a big issue for me), Korlgueläal is an excellent album brimming with Pagan spirit. Oh, and while I don't typically mention them because they are so superficial, the cover art for this sucker is Bad. Ass. To the point where I'm considering spending the crappy Euro to USD exchange rate just to get this baby in my hands.

Killing Songs :
Tüm fornorhvok, Svarn lak dral, Tüm dralver flöna
Vrechek quoted 90 / 100
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