Published on Wednesday, 06 March 2013 22:57
Album title: Vom Seelensterben
Release date: 1 February 2013
01. Die Prophezeiung
02. Ein Traumgespinst
03. Ein Monolog im Mondschein
04. gefrorene Tränen
05. Vom Seelensterben
06. Der Pakt
07. Blutsegen - Die strömende Erkenntnis
08. Ein neuer Pfad
09. Im Tau der toten Morgensonne
10. Ein Monolog im Mondschein (orchestral Version - Bonustrack)
This is high class, believe me. When it comes to sub-genre called symphonic black metal it's obvious that Dimmu Borgir and Cradle Of Filth come into mind, but those two bands became kind of mainstream lately and left almost nothing in their essence to fans of true majesty that black metal should possess. Fortunately enough there are bands like German Totengeflüster who know how to do it right. Vom Seelensterben is, surprisingly, debut album from this trio and it already shows how much insight into great concept of darkness those guys have.
The band doesn't discover new limits and doesn't create anything new, they stick to the legacy of some old, lets say it "kvlt" Norwegian black metal, but adding the perfection of the most intricate, yet valuable atmospheric symphonic passages that Dimmu Borgir and some of their followers crafted in those twenty years. It's also nice to hear a German black metal band not sounding typically German. Like I said it smells nordic, but here and there are atmospheric parts that reminds to that modern North American black metal school, like for example Wolves In The Throne Room and most extreme side of Agalloch. Just listen to those atonal and sharp guitars, yet with melodic, ferocious and fast riffs. Drum work is amazing, with lots of hyper speeding blasts, yet with a lot of technical passages. Not to mention the powerful bass lines and of course synth work that amazed me the most. The atmosphere produced with synths is adding that ultimate final touch and fills up the last open gate with dark and obscure parts, so be it with epic orchestrations, chants, piano insertions, classical interludes or just with typical black metalic, almost epic layers. Shrieking, devilish, extreme vocals are giving a right dose of aggressiveness, there are moments that remind to the early era of Dani Filth, for example in "Blutsegen - Die strömende Erkenntnis". Just listen to the album title track "Vom Seelensterben" how everything is at the right place, even with those teutonic insertions, and you must notice how delightful the band can go from one state of mood into another. On "Der Pakt" the band also tries to incorporate some thrash and death metal and I can't get through the fact that here and there some tiny piano driven parts smells of early Lacrimosa. The range of sounds is very wide, but not at all teared up, each sound takes it part where it should, yet the music is not predictable as you might expect.
All tracks are somehow connected with each other, inbetween there are short synth parts, just to take some breath, that divide them and the assault doesn't end till the very last amazing instrumental, ambiental track "Im Tau der toten Morgensonne", great hypnotic play between synth, drum beats and some guitar. Very solid conclusion of one amazing obscure experience. Those lucky enough who will get special editions of this album will be rewarded with orchestral version of "Ein Monolog im Mondschein". Production is rough enough that it leaves everything smelling undergroundish. Great album artwork done by bands mastermind Totleben is beautiful mesmerizeing dark art and just calls after purchasing the physical version of this one. Even the lyrics, all written in German are not the usual "Satan this, Satan that...", but very sophisticated and profound piece of lyrical art. So, all those true black metallers out there, if you haven't gave up to the word symphonic in front of your black metal, then Totengeflüster are the thing for you, but even if you have done that I strongly suggest you to give a chance to this release.
Review written by: T.V.