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Der Trauerschwan - Sanguinare Vampiris

Der Trauerschwan
Sanguinare Vampiris
by David Hough at 13 January 2023, 9:17 PM

Sanguinare Vampiris” is the debut album from Tristan Moreau as DER TRAUERSCHWAN. The press release refers to the album as:

 “the completion of poetry and song that was written during the past two pandemic years. Inspired by the English poets of the romantic era, lyrical themes explore the naked diary of a vampire, and while musically a bleak conjunction between 90's black- and doom metal, the harmonic teachings of classical musical theory also have a certain impact. With influences reaching from Summoning to My Dying Bride, DER TRAUERSCHWAN provides a unique blend of somber doom- and black metal, with vampiric-themed lyrics expressed through haunting songwriting.”

Of Broken Vows And Sorrow,” the album opener, starts with the sounds of a pipe organ. Then, the lead guitar comes in with a 90s gothic doom metal riff, followed by drawn-out, high-pitched raspy vocals. The song gets off to a mid-tempo start, then gradually slows to a crawl. It has a nice lead guitar tone but ultimately it is just too slow to hold my interest.

To Where No Pathway Goes” lacks any formal intro, just a scream can be heard. A series of sustained guitar notes soon follow. I really enjoyed the lead riffs. This is another track that slows considerably, which I did not care for. For what it’s worth, this is what drastically slowed-down black metal sounds like. While I find this genre mashup to be interesting, it does not have anything overly compelling about it.

The fourth track, “Sanguinare Vampiris,” draws from an inventive place. There’s some 80s goth rock mixed in with the doom and black metal elements, and it stands out well. The vampiric lyrics are well framed by the instrumentation, and the whole song has a nice old-school vibe. Vampire music has been done many times before, but this song has what it takes to stand out in a crowded field.

The final track, “Cor Cordium,” caps off the album well. It is an instrumental with plenty of tempo changes and other developments. It is the most well-written song on “Sanguinare Vampiris.” Every build up leads to a rewarding crescendo, and the keyboards serve to elevate the accompanying instruments quite well.

DER TRAUERSCHWAN’s take on gothic, vampire music, in a blackened doom metal format, is novel, but the execution just wasn’t there for me. I can only think of one other black/doom artist, that being LORD MANTIS, and they take a completely different approach to their sound, far removed from that of DER TRAUERSCHWAN. With the exception of two tracks, this album, “Sanguinare Vampiris,” blends the most well-worn elements of both black and doom metal to create something that leaves me feeling more apathetic than anything else.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Of Broken Vows and Sorrow
2. To Where No Pathway Goes
3. From Artery to Vein
4. Sanguinare Vampiris
5. The Malady of Mortality
6. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
7. Cor Cordium
Tristan Moreau - All Instruments, Vocals
Record Label: Soulseller Records


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