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Hangatyr – Kalt

Hangatyr
Kalt
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 16 May 2020, 11:43 AM

HANGATYR is a black metal band from Germany; their new album “Kalt,” is their third full length album.  In 2007 they also released a demo album.   “Kalt” is a very abrasive, demanding album but still manages to be heavy on atmosphere.  I am impressed how they combine more traditional blackened elements seamlessly with atmospheric textures without actually sounding like most atmospheric/post black metal bands; there isn’t any long, clean acoustic passages, clean vocals, or unconventional instruments. These elements aren’t a bad thing and they are certainly welcomed but not every band needs them to create a musical tapestry.  HANGATYR realize this: this is just four black metal maniacs kicking out what they love to do. The atmosphere comes along with this obvious passion.

The credit for this goes to the two guitarists, Basti and Ali.  The two of them create wonderful harmonies and melodies together.  Keep in mind, these moments are not the same style as a melodic death metal band or even some other black metal bands that rely on melodies— “Kalt” is an album that presents everything in a cold, froze landscape of darkness. The opening moments of the first track, “Niedergang,” are not only a great example of what I have describe but also a perfect starting point for the album.  The beginning is tremolo picking, furious drums and blackened shrieks but their musicianship is so top notch, I didn’t mind some of the more basic elements they play with. Around the 2:39 mark, a subtle melody creaks out of the riff work and adds a whole new dimension to the song.  It is still ferocious and dangerous but brings with it intense emotion.

Firnheim,” sets up instant grove with the drums and quickly settles on a high top speed until around a minute and half in when the drums change pace for a bit and bring the guitars with it.  The interplay between these two instruments is interesting throughout the rest of the track. A little more than halfway through the album presents the song “Kalter Grund,” and it is perhaps my favorite on the album.  The tone of the riffs is sharp as hell and the harmonies that compliment them are a blast of frozen air.  This near six and half minute dirge is stark and a bit frightening but I think those are the best things I could say about an album like this. Around the four minute mark, the riffs break up to choppy seas with quick bursts of double bass pounding them inward.   The tortured vocals that follow in the adjoining passage are harrowing and lead the song to an intense ending where the band lets loose all their fury.

The final track, “Verweht,” ends the album as high as it began.  Swirling lead guitar builds up the first minute or so of the track, pulling the vocals and drums in with it for a song that become the audio version of a snow storm.  The relentless assault of the drums lends a constant intensity to the song so even when the guitars do their melody and harmony interplay, the senses are still bombarded.  It makes for an intense experience, one which was amplified greatly with my headphones.  I felt as if I was caught within this storm. “Kalt” is indeed an album worth getting lost in, especially if you like your black metal hard and fast but craving a little extra.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Niedergang
2. Entferntes Ich
3. Firnheim
4. Blick aus Eis
5. Kalter Grund
6. ..kalt
7. Mittwinter
8. Verweht
Lineup:
Ali – Guitars
Silvio – Vocals
Micha – Drums
Basti - Guitars
Record Label: Independent
     


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