If, like me, you have studied medieval history as a major and have also done a bit of German studies as a minor, a project called Bergfried (Engl. “keep“/“castle keep“) which is releasing an EP called Romantik I, is already 2:0 ahead before the first listen. But I’ll even raise it to 3:0 – the marvellous artwork by Haharobin puts the crown on the whole affair.
Behind Bergfried is one of the most active musicians our underground has to offer at the moment: Erech Leleth is active in various projects that primarily offer different types of black metal, including Ancient Mastery, Carathis and Narzissus. In stylistic terms, however, the artist treads quite different paths with Bergfried, which should appeal to many of our readers. I predict that especially some Greeks, who are among our most loyal followers, will be completely thrilled!
Romantik I contains four songs which, not least thanks to the enchanting singer Anna de Savoy, are very reminiscent of Lordian Guard in many places. If you adore Bill Tsamis – and have possibly already discovered Grendel’s Sÿster – you don’t need to read any further at this point and should immediately click on the order button at Bandcamp. We should also mention Flame, Dear Flame, whose frontwoman Maren can serve as another reference in terms of vocal colour.
But let’s go into more detail: Erech Leleth, who appears here as Erech III. von Lothringen, spoils us with a production that sounds wonderfully underground. I mean this in a completely positive way, as you can only spread Lordian Guard-like magic when a release sounds exactly like that. The completely non-clinical sound exudes a warmth that characterises the entire EP: This music, which is as multi-layered as it is catchy, goes straight to the heart, as Bergfried play with an open mind and have really created something special with a huge amount of passion – their own, throwback world full of epicness, melancholy and longing, into which you can retreat to fill up on new energy, or just let yourself fall.
In this context, the lyrics also deserve attention, which are well written and once again intensify the effect of the music. Not least “Oh Lord“, which is a kind of prayer, is very moving in this regard, as presumably every listener reads something different out of it. My favourite verses are the following:
But you know, every empire falls
And makes way for a new dawn at last
And each time I am hoping that you
Will just rise from its ashes and shine
Conclusion: Bergfried impress right away with their first release, which makes you want more. Erech Leleth is a gifted musician who has a lot to say on a musical and lyrical level. Fortunately, the project’s Bandcamp page says “This is just the mere beginning of Bergfried…“ – and I have to admit that I am already impatiently waiting for new material that, like Romantik I, will make this world a little prettier place. Obligatory purchase for everyone!