Schattenbrandung: I - Apophänie
25/10/12 || Cobal
These German fucks play doomy black metal and this is their first work, and one’s able to tell more or less where things are going since the moment Schattenbrandung (German for “waves of shadow”) ignitiate “I – Apophänie” by sampling natural sounds such as birds, flowing water and stuff.
Prima facie, I had thought songs took a little too long to take off, but the truth is that the songwriting here is intelligent and thorough, and definitely in no hurry of any kind. While the core of each song is based in guitar melodies rather than riffs, all of them include instrumental passages in between the fierce blast beats parts in which the jazzy syncopated drumming is a highlight indeed.
Along the well carried out compositions, I dug guitar solos here. They are proficiently played and written, and yes, they slightly resemble 70’s hard and progressive rock bands’ soloing. Also and about the mentioned instrumental parts, guitars knit together quite interesting sort of unconventional haunting arpeggios. However, we’re not before an A-B-C parts kind of songs, if you know what I mean.
As for the vocals, they vary from black metal harsh ones, to deep growling and even some of them are performed in blackened form of shouting that didn’t do much for me at first. Even if this department is not Schattenbrandung’s strongest feature, it certainly gives this album a nurturing variety of tones.
Sadly and the same it happens with almost every release of the slow and atmospheric black metal type, unless you’re already into alike stuff, it won’t do shit for you. Even more, in spite of the hard work these guys obviously put in songwriting, one loses track between one song and the next as they are all too similar amongst’em.
Make no mistake, “I – Apophänie” is a fine record; as a matter o’fact, is so good, that even though ‘twas meant just to be stubbed, it finally made it to the reviews section, and in my book, that’s saying a fucken lot. Cheers.
- Released: 2012
- Label: Independent
- Website: www.schattenbrandung.org
- C: vocals
- P: guitars
- T: guitars
- M: bass
- J: drums
- 01. II
- 02. III
- 03. IV
- 04. V
- 05. I
- 06. VII