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Membaris – Misanthrosophie Award winner

by William Travers at 19 April 2020, 7:53 PM

Germany, and the surrounding countries for that matter, have always been known for their appreciation of the more extreme sub-genres to Heavy Metal. With Poland producing Black Metal behemoths…well…. BEHEMOTH and Germany also being home to the acclaimed PORTA NIGRA we should be aware that any offerings from the depths of the Teutonic lands will be heavy, exciting and not something to be overlooked.

Step forward MEMBARIS. A well-established band with an impressive back catalogue that covers their 21 years of darkened offerings. With both members having affiliations and other groups, we can be confident that what ever is produced is surely to be a thoroughly well rounded and professional production. With their most recent offering, “Misanthrosophie”, released March of this year we have the long-awaited return after a six-year hiatus; and what a return it is. With the artwork we are treated to a busy piece that is both enthralling and confusing, but it is instantly eye catching.

The album opens with “Architektur Fern Struktur”. No frills, no fucking around just straight into the ferocity and tenacity that people love of the Black Metal genre. Blast beats and ruthless riffs accented by the stereotypical high shrieks of the genre. But do not be fooled, this is no stereotypical Black Metal band… which will become more apparent as one continues their journey through the record.

Stepping away from the stereotypes during the introduction to “My Path Of Stars” we have an unnerving audio line of what seems to be an individual arguing with himself, whilst this builds and crescendos into an aggressive and impactful kick in that blows the listener away. With electric and relentless energy that is present throughout, both the clean and rough vocal sections are breath taking and really go to show the deep musical understanding that MEMBARIS have for their sound.

Making a sharp turn we come to “The Only Reason To Stay” and what a change of direction. With a melodic line that WARDRUNA would have been proud of we are treated to a semblance of calm that is very welcome as a respite and to allow one to catch their breath and prepare themselves for the next half of the album. The next half begins in a much more relaxed manner, with “Imaginations Through The Horned Crowned Skull” we are to witness a more Doom Metal style introduction before once again being thrust into the unwavering energy that has become the backbone of the music. The highs are being supported much more now with lower roars that add an entirely new dimension to the music.

The titular track “Misanthrosophie” is structured chaos. With complex sounds assaulting you on every conceivable plain and from every direction it is beautifully confusing and troubling. But it does offer a catharsis where one feels free of their troubles and pent up frustrations and emotions are just released in a wave of ruthless tenacity.

Overall, “Misanthrosophie” smashed pre-conceived notions of what makes a good Black Metal album, the trailblazing style and individualism of MEMBARIS have taken what was a good record, and made it fantastic. The refusal to adhere to genre stereotypes may not please the elitists or the self-proclaimed connoisseurs, but this isn’t just about the Black Metal aficionados, this is about all lovers of music and in this album, there is something for everyone. Thank you, guys, for producing something this special.

Song writing: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Architektur Fern Struktur
2. Nebel Haras
3. My Path Of Stars
4. Constant Companion
5. The Only Reason To Stay
6. Imaginations Through The Horned Crowned Skull
7. Pulsar
8. Misanthrosophie
9. Aus Tiefen Empor…
Obscurus – Drums/Guitar/Vocals
Kraal – Guitar/Bass/Vocals
Record Label: WTC Records


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Edited 29 January 2023

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