The haunting melody that rings out at the start of this incredible album is about as comforting as a late night cuddle with Pennywise the Clown. It’s a start that makes the explosion of blackened metal that follows all that more impactful.
As much as this is mired in traditional black metal it’s use of melody marks it out as something far more special. With only 7 songs (the first is just an intro) but lasting over an hour you know you’re in for a bit of an epic.
Which is exactly what this is, every song sounds huge with elements that constantly bring it to higher & higher heights. The more I listened, the more I got that Deafheaven vibe, a comparison that is high praise for Waldgeflüster.
Songs like Weltenwander are as pure black metal as you can get but with a much fresher & modern take. It’s dark, heavy & uncompromising yet retains a serious sense of beauty. The drops followed by wondrous upbeat moments create all kind of emotions, exactly what music…exactly what heavy metal should be about.
There are symphonic elements too, most noticeable in the incredible Ruinenfelder, a song that sounds like it’s coming out of the darkest corner of a German forest.
Some may decree the choice of German only song titles & lyrics but they are missing the point. What’s being said isn’t as important here as how it’s being said and singing in German hasn’t exactly harmed another well known metal band’s popularity!
This is a band filled with quality musicians & bags full of inspiration. No one instrument lets the side down (although sometimes the bass is lost in the mix). No one instrument overshadows another, it’s perfect harmony & one of the best things to come out this year.
There isn’t a bad track on this album, each one offering something interesting & exciting. The only disappointing moment comes when the album finishes but what a finish it is. The 9 minute wonder, Aschephönix is such a well put together track that it will bring you to tears & it’s followed by the equally compelling instrumental, Susitaival. It’s one of the best album endings of the year.
Hear this album.
Full Track Listing:
1. Die Ruine als Schmuck
4. Und immer wieder Schnee
6. Graustufen Novembertage
Waldgeflüster - Ruinen (Nordvis)