Style: Black Metal
Similar bands: Mgła, Uada, Havukruunu
Release date: 19.01.2018
Label: Vendetta Records
According to a study, every fourth song on Spotify is skipped after only five seconds. After 30 seconds it’s already every third song, and only half of all songs are heard to the very end. This goes well with the result of another study, that says that nowadays the intro of a song ends after an average of only five seconds.
Of course, as listeners of Metal music, we know that the outcomes of such studies are likely to be different if performed on our scene. And so, presumably, it was neither bravery nor deliberate ignorance that led VERHEERER to open their debut album with a nearly three-minute intro. The duo from Flensburg, Germany simply is conscious of the values of their own scene, because where else could this work if not in Metal?
The intro takes us to a disturbing and threatening world, with the help of sacred chants and an Italo-horror guitar, which ominously oscillates back and forth like a bell. And when in the first song “Kultyst” the vocalist lets go of a nasty scream, the rhythm fraction is off the leash and the guitars unleash sinister and yet wonderful Black Metal melodies, then I can see the hellish paintings of Hieronymus Bosch before my inner eye – disturbing, yet artistically appealing.
A sense of threat and morbid fascination runs like a blood red line through the duo’s debut album. How unpredictably VERHEERER go about their work is shown by their tradition-conscious joy of experimentation. This is where church organs, sacred chants, military drums, acoustic and Power Metal guitars, nordic coldness (which I can still feel despite the current heat wave), dissonant sounds, heaviness, melodies that don’t match the song’s rhythm, malicious screaming and Tom Warrior “Ughs” meet each other.
In ten years, which the band is already active on the paper (but until this album they have only released one EP), the musicians have come up with a lot of ideas, that were to bring to balanced songs on this album. They actually did that very well. The listener certainly will not get bored here, despite the many parts that seem to be obsessed with repetition.
But you have to get involved with the band’s special style, because VERHEERER do neither play Black Metal on “Maltrér” that is compatible with the average Metal listener, nor do they follow the true Black Metal teachings. If you can not do that, you will miss an extraordinary album. Everyone else should no longer hesitate and dig deep into VERHEERER’s dark sounds.
Referring to the introduction, I would like to expressly thank (and congratulate!) all readers whose attention span was long enough to read this review completely and to the end: Thank you very much, you are the living rebuttals to all goldfish studies!