Wöljager – Van’t Liewen Un Stiäwen

Marcel Dreckmann is a German musician that the most attentive will identify in Skald Draugir of Helrunar and Marsél of Árstíðir Lífsins, two bands authors of an extreme oblique and cultured music that, only for convenience, have always been included in the black metal cauldron. It is not so surprising, then, that Dreckmann had already had this magnificent shot in the barrel for a long time, in the form of a work of folk matrix that should have been, moreover, the musical support of a theatrical performance. As often happens in similar situations, the theatrical transposition has never been realized and so the German musician has rightly decided to publish the whole in audio format under the moniker Wöljager, and good thing, I would add, because a work of such quality could not be left to languish waiting for better times. With the help of two companions of adventure in the Árstíðir Lífsins, compatriot Stefan Drechsler and Icelandic Árni Bergur, Marcel shows off a capital test by exhibiting the darker side and brooding folk and, to make it even more special and worthy of attention the proposal, at a lyrical level the Münsteran Platt is used, that is the low German dialect still spoken in some regions of the north-west of Germany and that, as you can see, has many similarities with the idiom of the nearby Netherlands. In short, there are many reasons of interest that the listener can find in Van’t Liewen Un Stiäwen, but obviously the main one is the musical content, made of a highly evocative folk in which are banished all the caciaroni tones in favor of a mood between the dramatic and the melancholic that often induces the emotion: It is difficult for the eyes not to moisten in front of jewels imbued with aulic splendor as the title track, Summer and Vettainachtain, or even a Üöwer De Heide in the odor of the most intimate Nick Cave. The only concessions to a relatively more cheerful popular music are the enthralling Kuem To Mi and Junge Dään, not by chance placed one after the other in the central part of the disc, as if to constitute a parenthesis of lightness within a total mood that leaves little room for joy and optimism. Here we find ourselves in front of musicians of superior stature to the average and the crystalline production returns to perfection the slightest nuances, exalting to the nth power every single guitar arpeggio of the couple Drechsler Bergur, the caresses of the strings played masterfully by the latter and the warm and deep timbre of Dreckmann’s voice. One of Marcel’s declared intentions was to demonstrate that a dialect such as the Low German one does not necessarily have to be associated with the imaginary folklore of a country festival, but that, instead, it can easily constitute the linguistic basis for works of high artistic depth and leaden moods such as that represented by Van’t Liewen Un Stiäwen. The mission has been accomplished, maybe even going beyond the initial forecasts, because I don’t hesitate to define this record as an authentic masterpiece able to make itself appealing also to those who, even if they don’t attend in an assiduous way this genre, are able to assimilate the emotions offered by a music only apparently simple but that arrives straight to the heart, finding there its stable dwelling.

2016 – Prophecy Productions