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Nebelkrahe - Lebensweisen

by Dorothy Cheng at 04 April 2013, 10:44 AM

“This has got to be one of the more listenable and unique Black Metal bands out there,” was the first thought that came to mind when “Versucher” came on, the first track off NEBELKRAHE’s new album “Lebensweisen”. “Versucher” had a great blend of creative riffs, effective slow parts, and chilling refrains with never-before-heard styles in typical Black Metal bands, bringing me to my conclusion that NEBELKRAHE is far more experimental compared to their fellow Black Metallers out there, but also less caught up in the whole Satan thing. Just listening to their music without comprehending the German or whatever-it-is lyrics, one feels close to no affinity with the occult.

By the first track alone, I was already impressed with NEBELKRAHE’s boldness and creativity. It wasn’t a problem that the track was eight and a half minutes long when there were so many facets to the song and so much to listen to. NEBELKRAHE is like one of those home-grown burger stalls that give you two quarter-pounder beef patties, salad, tomatoes, pickles, cucumbers, two slices of cheese, a fried egg, ten sauces, and whole-wheat buns for the best price ever, while a lot of other Black Metal bands these days are like McDonalds, with their cardboard-thin patty and soggy bun. The quality is great, the production is great, and the creativity was festering like ants on a piece of discarded candy.

“Mit Glut auf den Lippen” began and I expected another bout of brutal black metal, but was greeted instead to a jazzy, folksy number with the vocals performed by a sweet Scandinavian or whoever-she-is maiden. It only got crazy when vocalist Umbra started mirroring her sweet voice with his depraved, hoarse growls that the music exploded into a climbing burst of bright guitars and complex rhythm. An acoustic, almost Western mixed Viking session followed, with violins and jazzier guitar leads. The normal Black Metal shebang began again soon after, and the rest of the song was pretty much followed the same eclectic pattern. Remember that analogy about NEBELKRAHE’s homey, wholesome, full burger? This applies to the entire album. Comprehend this: every song feels like a whole album in itself. Every part of the song feels like a separate entity that is growing on its own and carrying its own significance. There are dozens of facets, parts, and sections to each song each with its own character and style, making it both the best and worst thing about “Lebensweisen”.

Can NEBELKRAHE be forgiven for this oversight? Of course they can. This is a kickass album. I’m not going to spoil the other songs here by describing them, because they truly are packed with surprises. And maybe it’s just the mad scientist in me, but I truly “get” their Avant Garde experiment thing. I think it really works, to great effect. It’s very cathartic, challenging, and definitive all at once. This is one of those albums where all the tracks are standouts. They are not exactly memorable to the note, because there is too much going on, but they are all unique and extraordinary on first impression.

NEBELKRAHE have some genius minds working in them, as can be seen from their beyond eccentric, highly innovative, astoundingly original take on Black Metal. I highly recommended this for anyone who sees the process of making music as an art form in itself. There may not be many, but for those who do, “Lebensweisen” is definitely a significant and greatly enjoyable listen.

4 Star Rating

1. Versucher
2. Mit Glut auf den Lippen
3. Mut & Demut
4. Der Flaneur
5. Lebenswaisen
6. Das Karussell
7. Macht & Ohnmacht
8. Ebenburdig
Kar – Bass
Latrodectus – Drums
Euphorion – Guitars
Morg – Guitars
Umbra – Vocals
Record Label: Might Music


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