Year 2008 Release Date 2010-02-21 Genre Symphonic Heavy Metal Label self-released France (Paris, Île-de-France)
Unlike a handful of other bands around the globe going under the Niflheim moniker, this band does not play Black Metal (or anything even resembling that). This Niflheim is from France and play Symphonic/Gothic Metal with Folk influences. The band released the excellent demo Lost in Broceliande in 2006 and now returns with their second effort, the EP Once Upon a Cow. The release is quite lengthy for an EP, with 8 tracks, note that only three of these are actually new tracks though. The others are from their demo, which they included as a whole. Niflheim plays highly melodic and symphonic music with a rich and full sound. Of note is that they managed to integrate the Symphonic elements without using a keyboard on the three new tracks. The melodies are created mainly by the guitar riffs and supporting instruments (mainly the violin, which they put to great use). The focus on the violin give their new tracks a distinct Folk twist as is apparent on the EP opener Thorgunnrs Tale, which features a great upbeat violin melody. The tracks from their old demo are less folk oriented and rely more heavily on keyboard melodies, making them somewhat more traditional symphonic metal. That is not to say that they are less enjoyable though. They are just different. I would say more bombastic and somewhat less cheerful (a fiddling violin surely makes a song more uplifting). Vocally, the music is centred around Aurore. She has a great voice and is able to sing both the low and high notes with ease. Of note is the song Prophecies of a Coming Fall in which she pulls of some impressive vocal lines. The older tracks also feature an occasional choir passage, which fits in quite well with their bombastic style at that time. The production is excellent, so no problems in that department. Making the whole release an excellent package, which is satisfying on all fronts. Im looking forward to hearing more of this band in the future and hopefully they will able to deliver some more new songs on the next release.
1. Thorgunner's Tale 4:58 2. Molly's Tavern 4:33 3. Prophecies of a Coming Fall 4:54 4. Dwarf Head Tavern 2:14 5. Lost in Broceliande 5:44 6. Loki's Coming 4:12 7. Fenrir 3:59 8. Dancing With a Troll 3:47 34:21