I have meant to revisit this album for some time now, I was very impressed upon my first listen and I found some very memorable tracks off of the album in terms of compositional complexity as well as creative expression. The atmosphere built by the variety of instruments used in the music, as well as synths paired with the typical instruments found in atmospheric black metal really opens up a very wide range of sounds and possibilities for the music.
The album starts off by setting the melody that is present throughout the rest of the album with a soft piano track. One of the hallmarks of this album is the demonstration of the same (or very similar) melody being present on every track except the bonus “Wind” which has its own melancholy flavor to it anyways.
Some very notable tracks for me on this album were “Verehrung” and “Ballade auf den Tod”. Both of these tracks offer very complicated introductions and musical crescendos into full on black metal tracks. “Verehrung” starts off with a clean picked melody, progressing very quickly through the drum track, which builds over the first minute or two of the song which gives way for the violent black metal vocals that soar over the distorted guitar of the tracks. The songs are beautifully composed, so much so that it almost makes you forget they contain the same melody!
The lyricism on the album is depressing, which is exactly what I love to hear from a band that has the beautiful aspects of atmospheric black metal ringing true on every track they release. With the most notable of tracks for me being the original track “Wind”. With lyricism subtly describing how the harshness of life flows away like a cool breeze. Utterly powerful and beautiful.
Overall I give this album an easy 98/100. This album is hardly deserves anything less, a serious pinnacle of atmospheric black metal, offering a blatant view into the mastery and understanding of black metal, melancholy, and dissonance. I really am looking forward to the bands future releases; and again, play on skeleton!