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Ellende - Ellenbogengesellschaft Award winner

by David Hough at 28 October 2022, 7:17 AM

ELLENDE is the brainchild of the Austrian multi-instrumentalist Lucas Gosch. Ellenbogengesellschaft, which directly translates to “elbow society,” an idiom used in the same way as “dog-eat-dog society'' is used in the English language. This is his fourth full-length release. The vast majority of the lyrics are sung in German. ELLENDE’s sound is characterized as ambient post-black metal. The first track is an introductory instrumental that I did not find to be superfluous at all. The second song, “Unsterblich,” starts as all black metal albums should start, with a raspy scream. This one has everything I look for in a contemporary black metal song and more. The hook is fierce, the singing is mostly raw, and accompanied by a choir of Gosch’s voice. There are beautiful and somber quiet moments that give way to uncontrollable fury. It is truly a feast for the ears.

Hand Aufs Herz” also doesn’t disappoint. The breakdowns are explosive. There are icy cold rasps and choral moments as well. This is as dynamic as “Unsterblich.” I love it when songs develop and evolve throughout their runtimes, and this song is full of aural peaks and valleys. Also, they chose to end this one right as the crescendo hits, giving you just enough time to take a breath before the next sonic journey unfolds. The aforementioned next sonic journey is “Someday.” This one starts with a somber piano melody, a welcome respite from the intensity of “Hand Aufs Herz.” The song builds slowly, first adding in guitar, then drums. At one point, an acoustic guitar comes in. The majority of this track is this pleasant yet melancholy tune. Later, with one minute to spare, they shift into a full-on black metal mode but stop with just enough time to revisit the earlier piano melody.

The album’s final track, “Verletzlich,” is another one that is all about slowly building intensity up to a fulfilling and wondrous climax. That’s not to say that the song is lacking at any point; the fast, clean guitar and drums set an incredible stage for even more choral vocals, all while the track builds. The vocals are, once again, raspy and full of emotion. Interspersed with the singing is an excerpt of an interview where David Sylvester chats with visual artist Francis Bacon about Bacon’s philosophy.

With “Ellenbogengesellschaft,” Gosch has created his most accomplished work to date. I found it difficult to choose which tracks to write about. Every song on this album is flawless and captivating. Gosch even painted the cover art. It is easy to feel the passion that went into this thrilling work.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Ich Bin
2. Unsterblich
3. Ruhelos
4. Hand Aufs Herz
5. Someday
6. Freier Fall
7. Abschied
8. Verletzlich
L. G. - Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Piano, Samples
P. F. - Drums
Record Label: AOP Records


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