Friday, July 1, 2016
This German black metal band captures all the icy nastiness you could want from the genre. The atmosphere like many of the second wave bands is an organic by-product of what they do. But like most extreme metal bands after they hit you with their power on the first song , you are left wondering what else can they do. By the second actual song, the answer seems fairly simple. They are not remaking the wheel here. What you hear is what you get with very little room for surprises, yet they pack a pretty powerful sonic punch in the blur that comes at you like a winter storm. This is not to say there are no surprises as I was not expecting the chant of the more sun vocals after the first onslaught of blast beats. The muttered vocal that follows the more agonized screams. The lush trickle of chilly guitar that bathes all of this.
This band is most effective when tempering their rage with melody. This melody rests on the guitar. The drums are lower in the mix which makes this album often more atmospheric than punishing. There are some folk infused interludes that create a primal ritualistic ambiance. Their is a more Urfaust like quality to what hits you on "Agnis Offer" . The vocals have a more sung bellow. Tribal drums chime in as the vocals shift more into a sung cadence. One of the albums more effective moments is the dynamic shift it creates for the guitar to come in heavier. There is more layers of weird abounding on this song as well. The Dead Can Dance like interludes continue. When the return to metal is a more nasty blast beaten black metal rage. Here it's perfectly fitting for this outburst as they have not been hitting you with this kind of aggression for the duration.
At this point the interludes are half the album. "Kenoma" lets you hand on the atmosphere for a good minute before slowly introducing the metal. At the two and a half minute mark the tide takes a turn and crashes down on you. I like the fact they have several shades of harshness to the vocals and it's not always the same kind of rasp. These guys have an incredible amount of restraint compared to many other black metal bands today and seem to care about creating unique songs. I'll give this album a 9, if you are looking for some black metal that doesn't sound like everything else then this is highly recommended.