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Rattenfänger – Geisslerlieder

by Santiago Puyol at 06 January 2020, 11:03 PM

Ukranian Death Metal band RATTENFÄNGER released their second album "Geisslerlieder" following 2012’s "Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum." Their sound mostly takes inspiration from classic Death Metal, being brutal, heavy and straight to-the-point.

"Geisslerlieder" opens with "De Laude Flagellorum," a short track that serves as a mood setter and an ambient intro. A ringing bell and a medieval vibe bridges it with "Materia Prima," the first actual song on the record. Brutal riffing and drums come in play suddenly, followed by deep growls. The drums set into a tight groove, underneath the purely evil guitar work. A powerful break right before the coda, with a huge, loud drum sound gives a little depth and contrast to an otherwise straightforward track.

"Pestarzt" comes next, with its memorable riffing and Punkish drumming. It is a high-energy track and a headbanger for sure, that stays the same for most of its length. Some weird, watery samples lead into a nasty last third with a strong, classic Death Metal feel from riffing and drum kick work.

Blast beats assault your ears right off the bat on "Les bons hommes," possibly the most intense song on the record. The guitars build a wall of noise, while the track sets into a rocking groove a couple of times throughout its length. Still, it remains a brutal punch to the ears through most of its six minutes. Some subtle synthesizer – or maybe organ – melodies contribute a sinister atmosphere, feeling almost Gothic.

"Sella Stercoraria" begins with a brief spoken word sample, quickly swallowed by blast beats and heavy riffing. It is a dramatic, ruthless introduction for the longest track on the album. The song moves through several sections, with shifts in tempo giving the track enough diversity to sustain itself as long as it does. Subtle Post-Metal influences bleed onto the middle breakdown atop jazzy drum work. Around the five-minute mark, things get rhythmic and almost catchy. A brutal reprise of the intro functions as a coda.

The sound of a blade contributes to the menacing tone of "De Blasphemia in Latina Vulgaris," another track over eight minutes that makes the most of its length. This one builds slower, from a somewhat softer (but always sinister) intro into a heavier, mid-paced groove. Its structure feels more predictable but no less interesting or simply well-thought. The rhythm section sounds tight with great interplay of drums and bass in a playful and syncopated way, lending an almost jam-like feel of the song. The track climaxes in its vicious, fast-paced, last two minutes.

"Funis Coronat Opus" is a great, complex closer with outstanding drumming, and a highlight of the album. Groovy, with heavy presence of the bass, particularly on its second half. It crescendos into a massive, lengthy instrumental jam before going out in a stylish manner. It is a really enjoyable track.

Although the bass could have been a little bit more prominent on the mix, the production of the album is more than adequate and works just fine for most of the album.

"Geisslerlieder" is an album that certainly goes from less to more. The album’s songwriting in particular shows this, as the last three tracks are the best written of the bunch and make for a solid second half. Getting into more dynamic without losing the energy, the heaviness and the dark feel of classic Death Metal suits RATTENFÄNGER’s talents. And this is clearly a talented band, particularly the beast they have for a drummer.

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

3 Star Rating

1. De Laude Flagellorum
2. Materia Prima
3. Pestarzt
4. Les bons hommes
5. Sella Stercoraria
6. De Blasphemia an Latina Vulgaris
7. Funis Coronat Opus
Record Label: Dark Essence Records


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