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Was Bleibt...
January 2006
Released: 2005, Folter Records
Rating: 2.0/5
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman

I am a terrible journalist. When this CD arrived, bundled together with a number of other items, I picked out the two CD’s by bands I recognized, and placed the ones I didn’t in the bottom of the pile.

Aspiring musicians of the world…this is the True Face of the Industry.

As my aging piles towered and shifted, priorities were exchanged like saliva in a bathhouse. This disc kept falling to the bottom, like my career. Why? I’m not sure I can tell you. Maybe it’s because I could honestly never read the band logo, or because the songtitles and lyrics weren’t in English…or maybe it was the album cover, which is, quite simply, a picture of a tree. Not a special tree, mind you…just a tree. Maybe it was an “evil” tree, by virtue of being vaguely Scandinavian…but I’m pretty sure that really just makes it a cold tree, evil or no. Anyway, as I sifted through the discs which I’d been putting off—mostly Nu-Metal and Metalcore bands that I begrudgingly promised to review because the publicists were just so gosh darn nice (there it is again—that cursed True Face of Rock!)—suddenly there is this discovery. Faced with all this spikey-haired and tattooed blight, this CD no longer seemed so bad.

But there was a problem: I couldn’t read the logo; I just couldn’t discern the name of the band for anything. The press sheet? Long gone, of course. And naturally, I’m simply too ashamed to just e-mail the publicist. What the hell do I say?

“Hey—you sent me a CD, THREE MONTHS AGO, that I kept putting off because it had a nature photo on the cover, and now that I finally want to listen to it, I can’t figure out the band name. The press sheet is missing, because it probably had my grocery list on the back of it. Anyway, it’s gray, and it has a tree on the cover. It might be an evil tree; I’m not entirely sure. The songs are all in Norwegian. Or German. Or maybe Luxembourgan…I’m a typical American prick, and can’t be bothered to tell. I hope that narrows it down…”

I’ll spare you all the details of how I figured this one out. Regardless, the name of the band was “Todtgelichter,” which, quite frankly, I’m not sure I could figure out even if you typed it in front of me in Times New Roman. I’ll extend it one point because it looks like “Toad Licker,” and because I know that little chuckle is the last that I might have for the next 45 minutes. (Not again—that horrible True Face!)

The vocals on “Wundun” sound as if the singer has been raped—rigorously, with a broom—while his bare feet are being stapled to the floor. Remember Godkiller? This is traditional grim-ass necro Burzum worship. It’s a bloodcurdling howl that might appeal to Count Grishnacht fans, and other aficionados of the Norwegian penal system. There’s a creative breakdown, with some excellent strumming and percussion about four minutes in, but that’s about all you get.

“Asenschlact” was fine. A lot of this CD is fine, if you’re a fan of cold and grim Norwegian Black. On a better day, I might be. Today was not the day. I spent today listening to my girlfriend play her Sentenced CD’s while I drunkenly read my e-mail. (Damn—again! There it is again! The Face! Oh God, the Face!)

The production is standard, and actually a bit better than what you generally get with “old school” efforts. The musicianship is quite alright, and certainly the passion is there. “Schlachtenruf” sounds particularly vitriolic, with a kick-ass Dark Throne groove that sounds positively punkish out of context. It’s no Craft or Sargeist, mind you, but it works. It was one of two tracks I deemed worthy of repeated spins, though it sounds suspiciously as if it was recorded separately from the remainder of the album, due to the mix. The vocalist just sort of shouts and gargles incoherently at invisible assailants towards the end, and I suppose it doesn’t get much more “kvlt” than that.

The sad truth is, this CD is far from terrible (“Wundun” aside), but it really isn’t special, either. At the end of the day, this was hardly worth the time it takes to remember how to spell the band name. At the end of the day, I’m left with something that I might listen to once more, months from now, when I forget what this one sounded like. At the end of the day, I’m left with something that only vaguely irritates my cats. At the end of the day…I hope that kind and trusting publicist never sees this.

Sorry, man—really, I am. I’ll try harder to like the next thing that you send (Damn! Damn! Damn! I did it again! Face! Cursed Face! Arrgh…). I wonder if they go through this at Revolver.
Track Listing

1. Hort des Todes
2. Asenschlacht
3. Von Hass und Trauer
4. Erinnerungen eines Wolfes
5. Wunden
6. ... und gütig empfange ich euch
7. Schlachtenruf
8. Existenz aus Nichts
9. Flammenspuk


Mort - Screams
Tentakel Parkinson - Drums
Nils - Bass
Frederic - Guitars
Felix - Guitars

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» Was Bleibt...
by Gabriel C. Zolman

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