Haggard - Awaking The Centuries review
|Album:||Awaking The Centuries|
|Release date:||February 2000|
01. Rachmaninov: Choir
03. Heavenly Damnation
04. The Final Victory
05. Saltorella La Manuelina
06. Awaking The Centuries
07. Statement Zur Lage Der Musica
08. In A Fullmoon Procession
10. (I) Prophecy Fulfilled
11. (II) And The Dark Night Entered
13. Rachmaninov: Choir
Haggard for me, is a band that is one of a kind. So unique they are, and to say it flat out, they make so many other bands look like nothing, literally. Even some of my favorite bands can't compare to the excellence that Haggard delivers to their listeners. This Album, really does it for me. Let me try to tell you a little about it.
They blend the wonderful world of metal, as so many of us know, (more on the Heavy/Power side, but no doubt amazing) with the unequalled power and brilliance of classic music. Blending the normal metal instruments of Guitars, Bass, Drums, and Harsh vocals with the wonderful Orchestra instruments such as the Violin, Oboe, Flute, Clarinet, and so much more. Though to many foreign listeners this may be a change in taste for them, it is no doubt some of the heaviest and most demanding music I have ever heard. The guitars are played excellently and give you those head banging riffs. The drums is one of my favorite parts in the music. They are so deep and doomy, demanding and menacing, unmatched in my mind. Of course, not to leave out, I love the low depth of the bass and how it gives you feel to the music, like there is actually a background behind the king: his empire. The orchestral instruments are of course awesome. I personally love the sounds of the violin and flute, along with them all. They give you the feeling that you are actually in a huge theater, sitting back in red velvet seats, light dim, and a whole symphony onstage, just blasting out that music. It's so amazing.
Another thing about the music that must be named, is the vocals. Let me see, we have: Karin Bodenmüller (soprano), Asis Nasseri, Sasema (soprano), Florian Schnellinger (bass vocals), on vocals. Each of these musicians just does an excellent job on their vocals. Everything seems to be rightfully on pitch from these wonderful people. Of course as many of us think, vocals just have the sound that you can't get from instruments, many times being more beautiful than that of any instrument, save the piano (for me). They have the beautiful female vocals, that seem to add that feel of pure emotion to the music, sadness and fright very much. So pure and calming are the vocals, they both do excellent jobs. You can picture vast lands and great loss from their voice. The male vocals are the same, outstanding. I think it is Florian who does the singing parts and Asis who does the vocals and growls. Florians vocals I like a lot. They add an odd feel of wisdom and supremacy to his character in the music. Asis though, he probably has some of the best growling vocals in music, and he can sing to, amazing. He adds the feel of wrath, hate, and pain unto the music, so powerful, yet again. The album in a whole seems like a huge piece, and I like this. I think it is supposed to be, as the whole album is to be a story and the songs are even labeled in chapters. Don't get me wrong, there is no doubt great diversity in the music, but if you like one song, you will like them all. Every track, as said, is played excellently, there are no flaws on this album, I think. Stand out tracks? All of them do, well that is stand out from most regular metal bands. For me though they were "In a Fullmoon Procession", "Chapter V: (Part I) Prophecy Fulfilled, (Part II) And The Dark Night Entered" and as I think was meant to be, the title track "Awaking the Centuries" in which they take you on an odyssey far away, past vast lands and untouched waters and unseen skies, so brilliant. Many of the songs are short and only a few are of normal length, but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying this album as much as I did. There is only one thing that I dislike about the album itself, is that is just over thirty eight minutes long. When it's over you wish it had been much longer. The sheer power this music exerts just pulls you into a whole other world, wonderful and grand, full of happiness and anger, pain and love. Everything is in place in this album, there are no "worse" songs, every one is equaled in greatness. One more note that I would like to touch in this brief review. Many "outsiders" view metal heads as cavemen, or something of the like. A band like Haggard seems to just capture the world in a whole. They are so brilliant I can't explain what I mean in words and on paper, it is just too extravagant to put into words. It really is. These musicians remember don't just use power cords and scream their heads off. They have some of the most complicated instruments to play, and have seemed to master them and put them into a vision divine. So amazing. Their lyrics, in what I can read are about pain and salvation and anger and love. Songs like "The Final Victory" and In a Fullmoon Procession". They give you such insight to the mood and feeling of the people, places, and events. All in all, this is one of the greatest albums ever created. Period. It can't be argued. It is a fact. Take it. Really though, in these words, that are nothing compared to the music, as I have said a lot the album is: Brilliant, Awesome, Amazing, Mind-Boggling, Unequalled, Creative, Original, and most of all Moving. Please enjoy this album as much as I do every time I listen to it, thanks for your time.
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