German Black Metal with a Symphonic twist ticks all the right boxes.
Released a few months ago now, this is one album that I particularly feel should be worthy of further investigation from your part if you managed to let it slip under the radar upon its release.
For a start it’s a body of work borne from a dark and twisted mind, the owner of which goes by the moniker of Totleben, who has been composing and creating passages of music now for some six years.
“Vom Seelensterben” has the basis and backbone of any Black Metal album worth its salt, extreme vocals, suppressing music and the ability to scare. However, Totengeflüster ( meaning Whispers Of The Dead) have taken things a very clever step further by combining the aforementioned format with a heavy dose of symphonic and in parts melodic metal that serves to embellish and complete what turns out to be a very accessible Black Metal album but still manages to retain that cutting edge bite and hunger.
For example, my personal album favourite, “Blutsegen (Die strömende Erkenntnis)” has it all, beautifully maniacal and yet wonderfully composed, it’s a track that spirals in and out of the dark and light in equal quantities. “Ein Monolog im Mondschein”, another album stand out track, has, at times an almost cinematic and over the top feel to it, combining guitar, strings and piano to wonderful effect.
This definitely is not an album for the faint hearted but don’t let that put you off, for me it was an album that possessed the best of both worlds in terms of aggression and melody, a point demonstrated no better than on the title track itself, managing to leave an imprint and a desire to explore the band further.
Whether it’s an album that will send shockwaves through the Black Metal genre is open to debate but it will definitely make a few ripples and get them noticed and rightly so. Recommended.
1. Die Prophezeiung
2. Ein Traumgespinst
3. Ein Monolog im Mondschein
4. Gefrorene Tränen
5. Vom Seelensterben
6. Der Pakt
7. Blutsegen (Die strömende Erkenntnis)
8. Ein Neuer Pfad
9. Im Tau der toten Morgensonne
10. Ein Monolog im Mondschein ( orchestral version) *bonus track*
Totleben – Composition, Guitars, Bass, Orchestration and Artwork
Narbengrund – Lyrics, Vocals and Concept
Schattendorn – Live Drums