Genre: Psychedelic Black Metal
Unusual psychedelic black metal.
With IIII, this young German band proudly present their debut release on Lupus Lounge, which is the first of a five album deal inked with this label. On their 2004 demo titled 042103Freitod, Farsot had a rather raw and cold version of the black metal art. On this brand new work, their black metal roots are very present, but they have taken an appropriately refined sound production to deliver their darkened message. Their lyrics and song titles are all in their native tongue, conveyed by efficient and expressive rasps, perfectly suiting their musical direction. Of the first six tracks, the pair numbers are all short musical bridges. "Hass: Angst" and "Angst: Tod" are more of the industrial/noise/electronics style while "Tod: Trauer" has a more melodic/ambient approach with choirs, dark keyboards and samplings. The three Thematik ("Haas", "Angst" and "Tod") are all high quality black metal with classical and modern elements: varied paces, strong bass, punchy drums, distorted vs. clean arpeggios, tremolo pickings and of course, great raspy vocals with a certain sickness involved once and a while. Not too many blast beats as such but more of the mid-fast to fast furious paces meeting calmer and melodic passages, much to my liking. Then, the closing song "Thematik: Trauer" is a long lasting pleasure clocking in at 20:40! It doesn't feel that long since it is varied in tempo and intensity; including great clean arpeggios, a nice piano solo, excellent crushing riffs, fast/furious black metal parts with some sort of cool psychedelic lead near the end. IIII is a very good introduction into the underground from a promising young German black metal act.
Hypnotic chiming and discordant guitar work is woven over the most basic drum lines, and topped with grimy jarring Varg-like barks. The songs are mainly mid-paced, and on average are roughly eight minutes long, although they do have the occasional blast-ridden section when the bile is fully raised, and the vocal department begins to sound as if desolation and despondency have been captured in corporeal form, transferred to aural format and been laid alongside a musical accompaniment. Let this not fool you into thinking that "Requiem of December" is not without its hugely placid moments too, as it has some really doom-laden passages with church bells tolling as an accompaniment, intertwined with melancholic acoustic guitar and church organ styled keyboards exuding the overall dark vibe of morbid sorrow. Just listen to track four 'Eternal Rest', with its imaginatively radiant use of trickling stream and birdsong samples alongside sad, downcast guitar – striking in its magnificence.
The tribal ritual music on this album sounds rather mysterious and distant. The inspiration for this project comes from archaic nature cults and psychedelic experiences. Most tracks have titles which refer to elements of nature. With no less than 80 minutes and 12 long soundscapes “Rusali” is filled to the brim.
You can hear death ambient, with harsh guitar drones and elements of industrial noise. But also more atmospheric passages, with ethno-ambient influences and sounds of field recordings. And indeed, the music of Staruha Mha has something otherworldly or out of line with modern times. I love the deep drones on "Grasses", making me want to close my eyes and wander to ominous ancient landscapes. The music is too noisy to be truly relaxing. But the dense textures have a lot of brooding atmosphere. There is also something machine-like about the music, industrial rumbling soundscapes like "On Branches" or "Deformation" go and and on, disturbed by nothing. A good piece of work if you like dark ambient and ritual drones.