Review: Totale Vernichtung “Die Rückkehr des schwarzen Todes” [Darker than Black Records / Final Agony Records]

Review: Totale Vernichtung “Die Rückkehr des schwarzen Todes” [Darker than Black Records / Final Agony Records]

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You know, I’ve got a serious confession to make here… and, I honestly feel really bad for even saying this, but… Die Rückkehr Des Schwarzen Todes, well… when I first heard it, honestly I loved it. Every single thing about it, as how I absolutely love ALL of Antimessiah‘s albums, no matter the band. But, this demo… you know how you have a favorite band, or a favorite artist? Usually you will have your established favorite album, and onwards down the list of which you then get to your least favorite album. Die Rückkehr Des Schwarzen Todes had been that for me, until now. I am trying to say all of this as respectively as I can, but I honestly can give no reason as to why this even was, in the first place. Because as I am listening to it right now, I am saying to myself, “What in the Goddamn hell is wrong with you!? This is fucking epic as hell!”. Goddamn it, I don’t know about me sometimes. This demo has always been last on my Totale Vernichtung album rotation, and fuck if I even know why. The more I listen to it on repeat, the more that I fall so hard in love with it. Feuerbestattung will always be my number one Totale Vernichtung album. Period. As that’s the album that made me fall so madly in love with Antimessiah‘s very beautiful music. All of it. That being said, Die Rückkehr Des Schwarzen Todes has easily slipped into second place, of all Totale Vernichtung albums, as of this writing. I don’t know, maybe it was because I get so obsessed with Feuerbestattung when I listen to it; that in itself sometimes clouds my mind to pick up key things that I have obviously missed when hearing this album, many a time from before. And, now as I’m hitting my fourteenth time in a row listening to it, since this morning; I am in such monumental awe, all over it. I hear so many things in it that I swear are new to me, that I failed to hear in any of the previous times listened. I mean, I do listen to this demo all the time; only now am I realizing its full, underlying beauty.

Commencing forth with vast amounts of atmosphere at the start of “Unheiliger Krieg”, drifts through this magnificent journey of pure, aurae bliss. This track heavily sets the tone for the rest of the album’s duration; as it is excessively heavy-laden with it. Steady drum beats instantly blends through those atmospheric, icy riffs; subtly becoming more noticeable with its intensive bass. And, Antimessiah‘s voice… his very beautiful voice… while it is by no means melting (on this demo), as he excerpts more of a raw black metal voice while singing… that unwavering force, that passion… it genuinely melts all the same, regardless. And, oh how I love it so!

“Die Rückkehr Des Schwarzen Todes” is a much slower song, at least until it hits the halfway point; and then everything picks up with a more intensified pace. It’s fairly reminiscent of the previous track, as it pretty much harbors that same essence; albeit again, just a slight bit slower in pace for some of it. “Die Rückkehr Des Schwarzen Todes” is such an exquisite song. Antimessiah‘s lovely voice, more towards the end of the song… as everything gets faster and faster, the passion of his voice seems to escalate to a much higher degree… all elements blending in so perfect. The riffs are so majestic on this song… that tormented scream at the end… fuck!

Oh, those screams… those elongated, distressing screams… Absolutely no one on this earth can match the magnitude that Antimessiah is able to, as far as I’m concerned. Honest perfection cannot be beat, as one cannot ‘perfect’ against perfection. Whether it’s raw… whether it’s straight-on black metal… or, whether it’s reverberative… Antimessiah‘s screams are always point-blank perfect. Every single fucking time. And, you always feel that harrowing distress when he does it. And on “Schwächeanfall Der Menschheit”, he does it so often; it’s just surreal, so dreamlike. Rapid-fire gunshot style drumming fits so perfectly, on the instance it’s done. And the mesmerizing riffs are so blistering, as the steady rhythm disseminates all throughout. The initial drumming, on-hand, has such a catchy beat to it. But, again, I really love that rapid-fire gunshot style.

“Gotteslästernde Taten” is another, more slow-paced song. Even so, as it is, the drumming does get excessively fast at times, while still maintaining its initial pace. Almost reminding of “Die Rückkehr Des Schwarzen Todes”. Ever truly, a very beautiful song.

“Ströme Aus Blut” is a short one, but Goddamn is it ever so good! Between this song and the next, “Vicarivs Filii Dei” (which is also the last)… these two songs are my absolute favorites off the entire demo.

“Ströme Aus Blut”… this song crushes the life out of me almost… okay, no… it DOES crush the life out of me; just because of how emotionally moving it genuinely is! It’s one that well… Goddamn it, makes me tear up some. Antimessiah’s vocals are truly so beautiful, but oddly enough that’s not what devastates me so much when I’m listening to this song. I mean his vocals do assist with that permeated crushing; but… it’s that MASSIVELY affecting guitar riff melody that hits from (1:38 to 3:00). So powerfully delightful, but ‘delightful’ in a more agonizing kind of way. I do mean this respectfully, of course. I swear, I repeat this song so much. Over and over, and over again, just because of that devastating, crushing riff. Goddamn, I love this man’s music so much.

“Vicarivs Filii Dei”… this one, this one is eminently my favorite song off the entire demo. Just every single thing about it. It is, without doubt, another soul-crushing song. It makes me nauseas when I listen to it; reason being is because I overtly adore this song so fucking much (honestly, it’s one of his best!)… the vocals, the music, just everything it’s made up of… “Vicarivs Filii Dei”… Just. Goddamn. “Chef’s kiss” perfection; a million times over. Absolute. Heavy, thunderous, atmospheric riffs break into light within that very first minute second of this song. And, it’s just a wondrous ride of pure bliss ’til the end. The riffs feel so desolate, and icy cold. The drumming isn’t so noticeable at the start, as it seems like it’s more in the background than anything. The riffs are more prominently held higher as such; as that (to me) showcases Antimessiah‘s intense, guitar-riffing mastery. The man is truly beyond fucking gifted, I don’t know what else to say. I always love his forced passion singing. Especially on rich, emotionally affecting, atmospheric songs, such as this. His gravely, yet extremely, very spun-like, velvety-silk voice I swear, just does me in, every single time he sings like this. I swear, it’s something so beautiful. As beautiful as melted, flowing, pure gold.

Now, as I’m wrapping up my review with this as my closing paragraph; there is something that I feel, that now is as good a time as any, to say it. As a massive fan of Antimessiah‘s music, as well as the four bands that he is in… something needs to be made perfectly, fucking, abundantly clear. Of all the Totale Vernichtung reviews that I have written thus far, this is probably something that I should have addressed in my first review of this band. Totale Vernichtung is not National Socialist, nor in that same retrospect is Antimessiah a “Nazi”. I do not care what other website(s) spouts off this garbage, as that does not matter… there are a few sites, not just one, mind you. What matters is that it’s being said, and is being believed by so many. And, any websites that are spouting off this garbage, they really aren’t helping matters any. One should know the vast difference between a black metal band being National Socialist, and one that isn’t. Either know and understand the context of what you are talking about, or just don’t say a Goddamn, fucking thing. If a black metal band was/is genuinely NS, I would honestly have no problem with addressing that band as such. But, when a band clearly isn’t, and it’s addressed that it isn’t on more than one occasion, and the lyrics fucking back it up; well… just fucking stop. Again, I really should have addressed this in my Feuerbestattung review, and fought this stance head on much earlier. But, whatever. Believe me, I’m not the only reviewer for this band that actually fucking understands what’s going on. But, that’s neither here, nor there. I’ve now officially (publically) said my piece on the matter; so there’s no need to address this again (because honestly, I’m so beyond fucking tired of it).

Release date: November 20th, 2006

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