Reviewed: April 2015
Released: 2015, Ván Records/Soulfood
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Apparitions is the latest release from the atmospheric black metal duo Urfaust. Formed in The Netherlands in 1999 Urfaust have been blazing a trail of atmospheric disturbance and malevolent droning for many years and Apparitions provides us with the next step in their journey. This unusual EP is the result of a single night of recording at Kindertranen Studio…
‘The End Of Genetic Circles’ begins this EP with ominous, overlapping synthesized chords. Melancholic and minimalistic it serves as the drawn out introduction and build up to the second track ‘Apparitions’. This track is strange and unexpected. The opening echoing chords fade into the emptiness, polyphonic strings drone and crescendo revealing a basso continuo, a ghostly choir rises from the darkness and we are dragged along in a macabre dance. As quickly as they arise the voices disappear, giving way to an unsettling instrumental passage before fading out into echoing chords once again. The following track, ‘The Healer’ introduces the first heavy element in this release so far. The distorted guitar introduction leads into a slow, heavy drone before the vocals perforate and capture the feelings of worship from the previous track. Deathly screams are interwoven between clean guitar and vocal lines before falling back to the familiar drone that sees out the remainder. The closing track ‘The River’ is a return to minimalistic ambience and unearthly atmosphere of the opening track.
Apparitions is not an easy listen and pushes the boundaries of the atmospheric music with its bleak ritualistic choral passages, unsettling instrumental displays and lengthily oppressive undertones, but it is enjoyable. It is also impressive for one night night of recording and I suggest giving this a listen, in the dark.
Review by Helen Collins
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1. The End Of Genetic Circles
3. The Healer
4. The River