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Review: Nachtruf - Geistwerdung

Label: Black Devastation Records
Year released: 2012
Duration: 58:26
Tracks: 4
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: April 6, 2012
Reviewed by: Memnarch
Readers Rating

Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (2 Votes)

Austrian Black Metal outfit Nachtruf finally get round to unleashing their debut full-length Geistwerdung after a trio of demos, and spew forth their own brand of filthy raw, ritualistic Black Metal madness. It's not your run of the mill Black Metal release; there are only four songs on Geistwerdung, of which only one is below ten minutes in length, so you'd be advised to brace yourself for an immersive and mentally challenging listen.

"Nocturne" begins proceedings, and we're initially greeted with a rather unsettling intro before we're thrown into a flurry of atonal tremolo riffing, ear shattering vocals and vigorous drumming which eventually becomes entwined with some slower atmospheric passages where the guitar takes on a peculiar discordant and altogether disturbing tone which is augmented by the increasingly maniacal vocals. Staying on the subject of the vocals, they're like a bizarre hybrid between Atilla's possessed whispering and the sheer insanity of Nameless Void from Negative Plane fame.

All the tracks follow the same basic foundation; "Tore in Die Tiefe" with its chaotic and dynamic drumming engulfed by a wall of sweeping guitar-based dissonance and the title tracks continues in much the same format with churning riffs and interludes to keep the atmosphere hovering on the sinister and unnerving. They almost remind me of A Blaze in the Northern Sky-era Darkthrone with an added touch of avant-garde weirdness. "Einst Trieb Mich der Wind" contains a bit of acoustics which gives it an added pagan feel on top of everything else.

Structurally it all appears to be bound together very loosely, as if it's about to fall apart at any minute. The unmelodious and abstract riffing with those desperate vocals all play a part in creating the sophisticated yet obscure atmosphere which clings to this release. The apparent lack of bass present only amplifies this further.

It isn't without its flaws though, the vocals while exceptionally good are a touch too overpowering and could have been dropped back a bit in the mix plus the songs suffer slightly from being a bit too overlong, they kind of just lose their way and taper off towards the end lacking that final third to set them apart from so the rest. But setting aside these shortcomings this is a far from poor release and if you like your Black Metal mentally abrasive and stimulating then give it a try. It will require repeated listens to fully absorb it but on this evidence I'm keen to hear more from these guys.

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