Published on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 00:22
Album title: Trost
Release date: 25 February 2014
Label: Naturmacht Productions
04. Ewige Heimkehr
Imagine the atmospheric side of Burzum, mixed with early Anathema, then add a pinch or two of Alcest from Écailles De Lune and out of this comes Agael. Trost is the second full-lenght for this German one-man band, successor to Hybris which was released five years ago. I must be honest and confess that Trost is my first encounter with Agael and I can't make any comparisons between the two albums, but as stated in press info sheet, Trost is more atmospheric and melodic. That's what you get with it, a lot of nice melodies, huge atmospheric soundscapes, but also raw black metal escapades. Trost must be also considered as lyrically conceptual album, it's one artistic long poem written by Agael himself which criticizes modern society with a special emphasis on how we as humans interact with our changing world.
There's no doubt that Agael is a very talented musician, and not only, he has proved himself as an extraordinary song composer, as most of the songs have kind of special pathos that with ease takes you out of body and mind. He has shown that he knows how to blend together melancholic melodies with harsh, almost diabolic aggression, but please, don't take me wrong, this album is not that aggressive in terms of music, instead this is hidden within the sole nature of Trost. It's easy to get lost for example within gentle ambiances of "Staubherrscher" combined with painful shrieks and rare clean vocals, not to mention how soul hurts when the sound of flute deepens the ambiance and opens even more the wound of the suffering soul of mankind,
There are many post-rock moments, then again it's pretty close to some shoegaze, yet it's depressive and on different occasions and many times when everything slows down, guitars for example reminds a lot to those on Serenades, debut of Anathema. But afterall Trost's music remains black metal in its core, many would call it blackgaze or something like that, but I think that's just partially right. Sometimes like from nowhere a gentle piano in the distance caresses the agitated malevolent spirit, yet Agael knows how to keep the suspense with some dark ambient inputs and other experimentations, just listen to "Menschensohn" and how interesting is the female speech in it, or how depressive is the background scenery in "Zeitenwind". Then again how unbeliveable haunting is the combination of dark ambiances and Alcest-ian guitar lines in the album title track. I don't know but something in the conclusive instrumental track "Nichtkonstanten" reminds me so much to USA based electronic/ambient act Impurfekt, of course I believe that this is just a coincidence as the two are stylistically far away from each other.
I can't forget to mention synth job which brings the necessary darkness in the picture. Then well played, but unfortunately poorly produced drums, together with German lyrics add a certain hardness to Agael's sound. There are also some flaws and one of the them is in my opinion the opener "Sternenklang" with its typical German black metal style, yet some acoustic insertions make it bereable enough. Yes, Trost is a very good effort and with just a bit better and not so dry, very unpolished production could be a masterpiece, even if, at the second thought that could eradicate that special underground essence of Agael.
Review written by: T.V.