Released: 2012, Lupus Lounge
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Stripped right back to the combination of founder members Alboin and Marlek and following the virtual implosion of the band - who had already been forced to undergo the indignity of an enforced name change the previous year – at the tail end of 2011, this album (you can hardly call it an EP, as while it may have only five tracks – six if you count the special edition, still clocks in at a mighty 45 minutes or so) positions a band struggling to rebuild itself at the darkest edge of the black metal spectrum.
Two words which sum up ‘Wetterkreuz’; named after the crosses erected by Bavarian villagers and travelers to protect them from inclement weather – are ‘bleak’ and ‘nihilistic’. The album combines traditional Germanic death metal brutality with the sweeping, ambient soundscapes more redolent of Scandinavian practitioners of the dark art of producing titanic darkened grooves – and does so to stunning effect.
Like their Nordic cousins, Eïs – their very name is a variation of the German for ‘ice’ – draw their prime inspiration from nature, and there is a very cold feel to the final product, a chilling ferocity to the music, no more evident than on the monolithic, punishing title track, which builds from a slow boiling winter storm through a series of increasing crescendos of crashing fronts into a full scale avalanche of brutal blastbeats and the kind of riff destined to shred all but the hardiest of neck muscles.
Dark and brooding, but also bombastically brilliant!
Review by Mark Ashby