Haggard - Awaking The Centuries review


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Band: Haggard
Album: Awaking The Centuries
Release date: February 2000

01. Rachmaninov: Choir
02. Pestilencia
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
09. Menuett
10. (I) Prophecy Fulfilled
11. (II) And The Dark Night Entered
12. Courante
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.

Written by Clintagräm | 24.09.2004


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 111 users
10.07.2006 - 05:51
The Alchemist
Great review C-Dub, your way to describe feelings and images is really excellent.

It's true: this album is brilliant, and really original, because of the instruments, the vocals, the lyrics - though I haven't paid many attention to it -

The instrumental and 'short' songs of the album are really good, like "Courante", "Rachmaninov: Choir" and "Saltarella La Manuelina", these are some songs that makes me imagine most of the things you've mentioned before, and of course they're played in an amazing way

The lenght songs are brilliant too, my favorite one is "Awaking The Centuries", this song is just a masterpiece in metal, played with some of the most difficult and great instruments and a great mixture between metal and classical music - like many songs of them, but this one is just a masterpiece -
This album is more melodic too, comparing it with "Eppur Si Muove", which has a harder music. Even the heaviest songs, like "Prophecy Fullfilled" are quite melodic.

For the ones who want to know about Haggard this would be my first recommendation and the first one which would be enjoyed the most. A classical album in Metal

I'm not afraid to die, I'm afraid to be alive without being aware of it
Sensorium - Epica
05.03.2009 - 17:40
I like more Eppur si Muove, the song Awaking The Centuries has a great opening. Oh.. i forgot, great review.
05.03.2009 - 17:48
The Shooter
For my it is only a good album and any more. I believe that 9 points of qualification are too much. Parami this is an album of 7 points.

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