Nebelhexë Laguz — Within the Lake

Nebelhexë is the new project from Andrea Haugen, known musically for her previous medieval-ish, pagan outfit Hagalaz Runedance. Laguz — Within the Lake is a direct descendant of Haugen’s work with her previous band, incorporating the traditional folk music of Hagalaz Runedance into a goth-y soundscape of programming and guitars. Nebelhexë’s debut even features a Hagalaz Runedance track, a remix of "Raven Night.” Laguz Within the Lake is often slow and dreamy if a little sinister, subtly blending (for the most part) heathen harmonies with the output of machines. The album has an awkward moment or two, like the B-movie organ in the cover of Lene Lovich Chappell’s "Bird Song,” a tone that introduces a jarring artificiality into an otherwise organically-flavoured work. But awkwardness is the exception and lies in juxtaposition to near-brilliance — "Reverse” being the case in point. Atmosphere is key here and it’s dark — tribal and modern, earthen and mechanical, all at once. (Candlelight)