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Urfaust want you to repent in leisure

21 July 2011

Imagine travelling in a jet-black, filigreed gondola down the River Styx. Everything is dark, except for a faint oily sheen on the water and the ultraviolet inner-mouth glare of your gondolier, as he scream-sings to you with aching soulfulness of the fate awaiting you in Hades.

Urfaust are something new. There is such an extreme blending of heartfelt beauty and horror in their work that I find it impossible to stop listening to them.  The album in question is Der Freiwillige Bettler (as you probably know, one needs to be very specific about which album to rave about when it comes to metal bands), and no black-metal album in recent memory comes close to the density and detail of atmosphere that this 2010 album evokes.

Their metal has been described as pagan, black and doom – I think these adjectives all apply to Der Frewillige Bettler – that is, if you can describe echoey wailing as “pagan”.  (Don’t get me wrong, they do the echoey wailing superbly : – )

The singing sounds as if a squad of Prussian foot soldiers had been banished to Hell, and it is now 300 years later and they are still gnashing their teeth in agony and screaming penitently for all the raping and pillaging they had done while alive.  Sorry, I know it sounds like I’m having fun at their expense; but black metal is nothing if not melodramatic.  But as with all good art, everything is larger than life in black metal (or is that larger than death?), so you must expect this kind of … plumminess.  With worms in, of course.

Seriously, though, these guys are incredibly good.  They are not only aesthetically powerful (self-effacingly overwhelming, is another way to put it), but also sincere.  I dare you not to be carried away by their heart-searing music.


From → Metal

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