|5 (2 votes):|
Solitude in the Northern Limestone Alps…
There’s a sense of loneliness and ease to be found in the atmosphere of Dea Artios‘ sound collages. We as listeners are not constantly pounded by grim riffs or energetic blasts, we are wandering atop lush soundscapes that require some open ears to fully grasp what’s being on offer. While clearly at home in the black metal realm, the Alpine tag that Kvein, the mastermind behind this release, adds to his creations couldn’t be any more fitting.
Extreme measures are not always taken, just when they are applicable to the situation, with the mountainous atmosphere being the main focus on this record. Said atmosphere is not one-dimensional either, as the mountainside tends to suddenly shift from epic, grand plateaus (often established either by acoustic guitars or horns, synth, and other non-rock standard instrumentation) to dangerous, steep rock faces (fast-paced classic 2nd wave BM riffing, pounding blast beats and diverse vocal acrobatics that tend to be swarming towards you in unison) in various places on the album – with “Jagd” and “Am Gipfelkreuze” being some fine examples for this approach.
Kvein’s vocal performances are definitely as harsh and hoarse as needed, but also don’t present themselves to be of the appalling, repellent kind only, as he’s shifting between (even clean-ish and quiet) styles pretty smoothly. He appears more like a volatile narrator, your sole guide up to the summit of Dea Artios‘ peaks…better be sure to double-check whether his guidance doesn’t lead to your untimely demise instead.
Zurück in die Waldwacht succeeds in both delivering the intended vibe and doing so in an entertaining manner, which is quite the feat; it’s never easy to exhibit 10+ minute song material without tiring the listener – especially on full-album length, but Kevin excels in keeping the listener engaged with his implementation of various instruments and an adept hand at song-structuring. Also, thanks for having some audible bass guitars! Heck, this whole record is wonderfully produced and escapes conservative lo-fi standards easily without ever sounding too polished. Alright, perhaps not all of his guitar riffs may sound exuberantly original and not every single tempo change works perfectly in his favor, but overall I’m still having a really tough time finding deal-breaking moments anywhere on this album.
It’s pretty simple, actually: if you enjoy your (feasibly melodic) black metal semi-old school, with a fair share of local Austrian flair and a clear focus on grand scope plus distinct alpine aesthetics throughout, you’ve come to the right place. Zurück in die Waldwacht will offer you plenty of goodies for such a black metal craving.
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