Released: 2009, Lupus Lounge
More knowledgeable and discerning fans of global black metal than myself will already have known about the existence of Geïst, this gross (or should it be groß?) example of Teutonic black metal arising from the brainchilds of underground German bands like Enid, Eismalsott and Spectre Dragon, and will have no need of me to explain why they should go out to purchase GALEERE, the Germans' third full length album in four years. For the rest of us, read on…
Alboin, Geïst's bassist and songwriter says that GALEERE "is the deep sea set to music…It expresses the beautiful forsakenness and infinite extent of the sea as a sanctuary, but also its indomitability and diversity, its threat and hostility." Wild, spray-whipped and impossibly atmospheric, calling up images of icy oceans, impassable straits and distant stars, eldritch beasts of the deeps and endless solitude…if you allow yourself to be taken along on a ride on GALEERE, you will see and feel all these and more. This is the soundtrack for your imagination, with the band there to give you a prod now and then in the right direction.
Musically, I suppose they would sound closest to Moonsorrow; certainly they employ many of the same riffing styles, but they also emulate the Finns' desire and ability to conjure huge, sprawling soundscapes that best illustrate their chosen theme: the sea. What I find unique and refreshing is that Geïst don’t seem to find it necessary to incorporate Viking themes blatantly worshipping Bathory and suchlike into their sound, where it would have been so easy for them to do so. One odd thing however, is the occasional overuse of sound samples that don’t quite fit, for example in the last 2 minutes of the final song 'Unter toten Kapitänen'. Did I also mention that they sing in their native language? I find this adds so much more to the experience, and this is not just because I think German is a language wonderfully suited to metal.
If epic black metal is your cup of tea, and you love the sound and ambition of Moonsorrow and Primordial, minus their folky elements, and you enjoy the progressive era of Emperor’s career, with the occasional touch of death-doom that Paradise Lost and Swallow the Sun have perfected, along with the tiniest hint of black-n-roll that Satyricon have taken to playing lately, well, Geïst’s GALEERE will blow your socks off.