Friday, December 9, 2011
Klabautamann - The Old Chamber (2011)
Country: Meckenheim, Germany
Style: Progressive Black Metal
Label: Zeitgeister Music
I first heard Klabautamann on their last record, 2009's "Merkur," and I fell in love with them. My fascination with all things progressive and avant-garde in the world of black metal honestly has never lead me astray in those sub-genres and Klabautamann is just one of those great examples of that genre never really disappointing me. This has been one of my most anticipated releases for this year since I found out about it a couple of months ago.
Before the album was released the band had said that this album was going to strip their sound back from the more progressive sound of their previous work and were going to make a more straightforward sounding album. Having said that, straightforward for this band is still pretty far from being traditional sounding black metal. The folk and prog-rock, and jazz to an extent, elements are still very present in these songs, with very few moments on here actually recalling more simplistic forms of brutality. In fact, a lot of this album isn't even all that fast, most of it is pretty mid-tempo actually, which in turn has brought out some really great riffs in these songs. I could see several of these tracks definitely appealing to someone who is into less experimental black metal because a lot of these tracks don't move from heavy to soft all that much, in fact almost never at all.
As of right now, I can't say that the duo who make up Klabautamann have written a bad song. The songs on here are no doubt not as progressive as a lot of the material they've released before, but instead gives more a more mid-paced, riff oriented, and atmospheric take on their own brand of black metal. I know some people have been disappointed by this, but I don't think it's all that big a letdown because it's still a lot better than a lot of other stuff out there that attempts to do a similar style. Tracks like Gloom and Black Rain really demonstrate why this album is good, besides the fact that it's a Klabautamann record. These two songs have nice mid-tempo riffs that bring two different sides to the band out, the more melodic on the former and a more progressive on the ladder. Besides that though, this is an album that is definitely more song based, and it's great that most of the songs on here are expertly written and performed. It's hard to be disappointed in an album like this when the songs are just catchy and memorable, sorry if you feel differently.
I know some have expressed their disappointment in this album, but to me it's another great offering from this band. I will say that it doesn't top "Merkur" in my opinion, it's certainly very, very good. Definitely check out this album if you want to hear some mid-paced black metal songs that are just really well written.
Overall Score: 9
Highlights: Bog Spawn, Gloom, Black Rain