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Agrypnie - Metamorphosis

Agrypnie
Metamorphosis
by Andrew Harvey at 21 September 2021, 9:26 PM

This trio of musicians in a way needs no introduction, they have made their contribution to the metal scene in Germany. They are called AGRYPNIE who have released a total of five albums since their formation in 2004, besides a split demo(2005), an EP titled ASCHE(2011) and a compilation album(2018). Their other albums like F51.4 from 2006, 16\[485] from 2010 and more recently in 2018, GRENZGAENGER have given us the band’s direction.

Their music and sound has mostly been a combination of progressive and post-black metal which certainly shows in their various releases. But now they are back in the driving seat, with their 6th studio album METAMORPHOSIS, which could be seen as a crossover of HARAKIRI FOR THE SKY and DEAFHEAVEN. The opening track “Wir Ertrunkenen - Prolog” is basically the symphonic intro with piano giving the crescendo of strings which come in waves. The additional parts like synthesizer playing a horn sound with strings and percussive hits came together also with choral chants.

“Wir Ertrunkenen” carries on from the previous track, with an implosion of that progressive collision of all instruments burning through. The sound as well throws the listener into deep water with controlled vocals and the post-black metal guitar. The contrast as well between pulsating sections and steadier, soloistic passages is well arranged too. “Verwüstung” with a slower melodic intro then propelled into another post-black metal section with that touch of progressive elements. Almost sounds like there are two guitar parts perhaps overdubbed in the studio. The vocals are loud but not excessive, certainly not in the mix, probably to give the other instruments more space in the audio spectrum.
“Am Ende Der Welt - Teil 1” like the first track starts with a more symphonic sound and percussive hits as well. The drums and vocals take centre stage here with guitar held back in the mix. The momentum with speedy progressive movement is noticeable but reduced in this track. Following on now is “Skulptur Aus Eis” which is the longest track on the album with over 11 minutes of what we have heard before. Vocals still remain strong but controlled, guitar is more sustained but quickens on occasion with progressive drumming too. There is also an interlude of; slower melodic guitar, black metal soundscape and subtle drums, carries til the closing notes.

“Metamorphosis” now spirals almost uncontrollably with guitar/drums leading the narrative. Vocals stand out more this time and clash with guitar, bass & drums, creating complex rhythms. The next track is but a shorter titled “3327” as an intermission or instrumental track featuring melodic guitar, straight timed drumming and steady flow of fluctuation. The eighth track so called “Melatonin” has a faster and upbeat tempo, the pulse-racing rhythms also return to the fore. I enjoyed a section where guitar was in conjunction perhaps paralleled with drum coordination through lower frequencies. Vocals sound more sinister, maybe ominous and dynamics are well orchestrated too.

“Untergang”, the vocals keep the same sound going with that clarity of drums and high end guitar, giving the black metal/progressive tone. The vocals as well become more rhythmic and prominent in the mix. Not much time for showing an excerpt for one occasion then it’s full blast into the next track. “Am Ende Der Welt - Teil 2” is almost like a follow up to the fourth track with the same name but it’s like a sequel. The guitar is high in pitch so the bass guitar and drums provide the songs lower ends of it’s tone. Vocals are less frequent here but faster in terms of rhythm as they are clearly in the spotlight. Noting also some projected sounds and violent thrusts of post-black metal/progressive noise.

So the final track, “Wir Ertrunkenen - Epilog” is very much a copy of the first track, sound effects together with piano soothing and warm. Percussive hits too and marching rhythms, like giving closure to the album. The gradual descent in volume is also familiar but longer than the first track, at 3 minutes. The album has its highs and lows but I feel some tracks are a bit too long in my opinion. But a good album worthy of some praise and previous albums may be more in favour.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8


3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Wir Ertrunkenen - Prolog
2. Wir Ertrunkenen
3. Verwüstung
4. Am Ende Der Welt - Teil 1
5. Skulptur Aus Eis
6. Metamorphosis
7. 3327
8. Melatonin
9. Untergang
10. Am Ende Der Welt - Teil 2
11. Wir Ertrunkenen - Epilog
Lineup:
Torsten Hirsch - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards and Programming
Marc Zobel - Bass Guitar
Florian Mustil - Drums
Record Label: AOP Records
     


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