Monday, February 2, 2015

Black Metal History Month- Urfaust: "Apparitions"

I hoped Urfaust wasn't going in the direction Wolves in the throne room  went with their last one , but halfway into the opener which sounds like the angelic closing theme to Blue Velvet, it is looking that way. This is a quick judgement since I am only in the first four minutes of the opener that has just been a synth bath. It is safe to say that while these guys have an esteemed history as a black metal band , this is not black metal, but something for dropping acid on the moon like Tangerine Dream or Vangelis. The title track is based around the same notes that make up "Feral Love" off of "Pain is Beauty". Glad these guys like Chelsea Wolfe, and real instruments show up, but I want them to rip it. This song doesn't rip, but it is moving in the right direction. The varied string tones coming in help redeem what at first seemed too drone oriented.

Each song moves closer into the direction I want them to go until "the Healer" really delivers the goods and is at least metal with some blackened roots. IX or rather Willem's voice has really come along nicely over the years and he makes the most of it on this song. There is drone to this song, but it also has drive and direction. The album cover has some weird 3-d thing going on that I just noticed and though I finally lost it. Doomier than it is black metal, "the Healer" is good stuff, and would like to hear an entire album headed in that direction, but maybe with more black metal elements. But I get wanting to do something different, and not wanting to keep making the same album over and over, that can be done, but with balance. If not then it's Urfaust saying fuck you, we don't give a shit what you want to hear even though you are our fan base.

"the River" finds this one flowing back into the formless void of ambiance we entered this album from. Sure it's spookier this go around. Having worked in haunted house before it sounds like something you would play in the back ground while patrons try to make their way through the dark halls. This would get a 9 if it was just the two middle songs. But all four  tracks are supposed to be songs, so I would then give this a 6. Hope to hear more metal from them in the future.

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