Asenblut
Von Worteen Und Taten
(MDD)

With a name like Asenblut (which apparently translates roughly to Æsir Blood according to a quick and dirty Google translate) I would expect the band to be either an epic melodic death metal band full of Norse and Viking lore in the vein of Amon Amarth or perhaps more of a folk metal band similar to Thyrfing. What we get is a German band that actively pulls from both bands (mostly from Amon Amarth but with none of the folk instrumentation of Thyrfing) musically on their second album Von Worten und Taten.

On tracks like “Was Angst ist,” “Ringfluch,” “Tatenklang,” and “Die Nibelungenmär’”, Asenblut reach in and pull from the bag of riffs of Amon Amarth which make you double check your MP3 player to make sure that it did not randomly skip to the Viking loving band. It’s especially apparent on the track “Ringfluch” where the chorus could easily pass for the choruses of “Valhalla Awaits Me” or “Runes to My Memory”. There are plenty of other bands that rip off from more famous bands and while many will consider that to be a bad trait, if you’re writing for a specific genre in mind there is not a whole lot to work with within its confines. It just won’t make Asenblut memorable, especially since I would rather listen to Amon Amarth.

The rest of the songs have a blackened-thrash metal vibe about them; similar in the vein of Skeletonwitch, Goatwhore, or Toxic Holocaust. “Wahn & Chaos” has some solid thrash melding black riffs, as does “Nachtwache” with its pure second wave of Norwegian black metal influenced opening followed by thrash riff that recalls a mid-era Slayer, specifically “Dead Skin Mask”. When singer-guitarist Tetzel is not performing his best impression of Viking horn wielding Amon Amarth frontman Johan Hegg, he channels Grutle Kjellson from Enslaved on the remaining songs. Often he’ll jump between the two vocal styles for a bit of diversity.

Of course the lifting of riffs is not exclusive to Amon Amarth, Slayer, or Death Angel (not to keep picking on the “Ringfluch” track but there’s a riff on there that sounds like it could be on a Death Angel track), Lamb of God has the honor of being referenced on “Von eig’ner Hand” which has a slowed down version of the main riff to “Laid to Rest” at around the three minute mark. The band refrains from covering the entire song long before Tetzel barks, asking if I “give a fuck”. While I personally enjoy “Laid to Rest”, I doubt others will have a similar opinion as I do, so that might be a deal breaker. Thankfully for them, there are no other Lamb of God references for the rest of the record.

One of the few things that I enjoy about this record is that Asenblut has all of their songs in their native German tongue, which is something I enjoy hearing in metal. While I may not understand what the songs are about (it’s not like I can really understand the deliveries of a black or death metal band to be honest) languages like German tend to be more musical at my English native ears. While the majority of the riffs are ripped off, what is there and original is competently performed, it’s just not memorable or exciting in any way.

There are no real stand out songs on this album but what the band does is competent enough to maybe warrant a listen from those wanting a mishmash of Amon Amarth, Skeletonwitch, and some very light Enslaved. Even so, it would probably just be better to pick up the albums from the bands that Asenblut so lovingly love to reference on Von Worten und Taten.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Travis Bolek
April 19th, 2013

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