Monday, September 12, 2016
Urfaust : " Empty Space Meditation"
This Dutch band is no stranger here, as they are one of my favorite weird black metalish projects. the songs are all just labelled as meditations. The first meditation is actually just atmosphere you might expect one to meditate to before they blast off into the 2nd meditation that is more snarling and finds them returning to the use of harshly screamed vocals. Keyboards hover over the blasting to create a darker web of cavernous macabre. The more traditional that I have come to expect from this project returns three minutes. It's sung a lighter higher than the more typical booming bellow from their chest voice. They slow out of the blasting into a sonically intense, but still melodic movement before returning to the storm of blast beaten madness. For me returning to it was a little formulaic, but the trve cvltists tend to like keeping simple so this one goes out to them.
For the third meditation there is harsher atmosphere leading into. The song it self throbs at a more majestic magnitude than doom and maybe a few bpm's faster, but it does have a dark doom like quality to it so the genre lines begin to get very blurred here. There is a more sinister shadow to the fourth meditation. The vocals sound like maniacal chanting by this point, but I do like where the throb of this song is heading. It drones it's way out and into the fifth meditation. There is more drive to this meditation, almost a bulldozing like "Orgasmatron" era Motorhead, the vocals are in more of a controlled baritone croon so that gives it a more Killing Joke feel. At five minutes this song is pretty to the point and features of some the albums more solid drumming. The sixth and final meditation, finds them getting trippy as the strum of an acoustic guitar gives them more of a Swans like sound, this combined with some of the middle eastern scales buried in the layers of this song and they are heavy but with a psychedelic vibe.
Overall this album is what you want from Urfaust. The band has added some new textures and layers. It might not be what you typically want from black metal, as they are not the heaviest black metal going, but they are certainly more thoughtful and than most and melodic in a way that doesn't seem like they are begging to be Opeth. If you don't like clean singing in your black metal it is still pretty palatable, as it's not done in the most obvious fashion and serves the atmosphere they have created. I'll give this album a 9.5.