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Klamm - Misanthropocene

Klamm
Misanthropocene
by Ian Yeara at 01 September 2021, 12:12 PM

So funny story about this one, initially I received the wrong album in this album’s folder. It was a mediocre black metal band and I won’t even bother mentioning the name, but when I got the album I was meant to review, imagine my delight upon realizing this is right in my wheelhouse. Doomy, proggy black metal? Love it. After a hopefully amusing start, let’s get into the dark and grimy depths of this ravine. What I appreciate the most here is the pacing, they allow the slow acoustic sections with intentionally droning clean vocals to properly build up for the explosions of blast beats that await. The tone is consistent and as Klamm is German for ravine it is quite apropos that the album feels like a long and dark descent. My favorite genre of black metal is atmospheric black metal, so I am always interested when artist want to combine doom with black metal, sometimes it can be boring, but not these guys, they have the songwriting chops to keep their music alive and enigmatic, demanding your attention and drawing you into the loom for the dark and twisted tapestry they are weaving.These guys have the songwriting chops to satisfy both fans of black and doom metal I think and I appreciate the effort on display.

I can imagine the clean vocals and narrations might not work for everyone and even though they do work for me, I can’t help but consider them minor marks against. The harsh vocals though are excellent, the perfect tone I usually prefer and really well mixed too. I like the overall sound of the album too, it has this emptiness to it that gives every instrument room to breathe and of course it adds a great atmosphere. It’s almost difficult to talk about the songs individually, this is definitely something meant to be listened to in one sitting, which can be tough because it’s just over an hour long. It’s definitely worth it though. I’m not sure if it is a concept album, but it flows like one, each song transitions into the next smoothly.

If I had to pick my favorite track so far it would have to be “Anthropocene”, it has a good variety of sounds and it nicely sums up what the album is trying to be. It’s got a touch of bi-tonality which is always cool and it’s probably got my favorite doom riffs on the album. Around the 6:00 minute mark it enters a new dimension and it builds up beautifully to the next cadence. I love how the harmonizing guitars sound here, they really strain the sound and suspend the chords giving a feeling that something important is coming. The whole middle section of this epic contains a lot of what I like most about this album and I would suggest trying this song first.

In the end I have many compliments, and few complaints. The drums could use a little eq adjustment, they sound a little dry compared to the rest of the instruments. Sometimes the songs get a little repetitive and I could have used more variety in the latter part of the album, and the clean vocals and narration on “Notre Flamme” took me out of the music, and I thought “Anthropocene” was a better constructed epic length song. There’s so much to like here if you like doom, or black metal I think you’ll have a good time with this, especially if you really like that authentically depressive tone. This album isn’t trying to be edgy, this is properly dark and weird music and they do a great job with it.


Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Memento
2. Sun Invocation
3. Notre Flamme
4. Europe
5. Anthropocene
6. Smokescreen
7. Trajictory
8. Death Worship
9. Dawn
Lineup:
Peter Biewer - Guitars
Aaron Schuler - Guitars
Wolfgang Bywalez - Vocals, Accordion
Simon Ludwig - Drums, Backing Vocals
Andres Gumpert - Bass, Violin
Record Label: Independent
     


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