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Theotoxin – Fragment: Erhabenheit

Fragment: Erhabenheit
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 05 August 2020, 4:19 AM

THEOTOXIN is a Austrian black metal band formed in 2016.  In just four years, they are already on their third full length, “Fragment: Erhabenheit.” This is a really intense black metal album that sounds great.  So many black metal bands that are on the more traditional side of the genre think having poor production values help you their sound but that isn’t always the case.  A black metal band can be searing and against the grain but still sound wonderful doing it.  This album is just as heavy and brutal as any death metal release I’ve heard this year.

THEOTOXIN’s “Fragment: Erhabenheit” goes a long way into proving my point.  The mix is on point, nothing is over bearing or buried under another instrument.  As such, the finer points of the aggression are highlighted at all times to make this an album that never lets up for a breather. A large reason for the lost of breathe would be the drummer.  It is almost always going for the throat and is all over the place but has a very strong foundation the other instruments build from.

The frantic double bass rips through reality as soon as the opening track, “Golden Tomb,” begins.  The riffs are played with urgency, like hell hounds on the trail of their victims.  The vocals use the traditional blackened screams but aren’t afraid to go lower, for a more death meal oriented growl. The screaming and drumming are so unrelenting in the next track, “Obscure Divinations,” I felt like my ears were going to implode.  The song constantly doubles down on intensity as it plays through, therefore giving the song a feel of nonstop rising action all the way to the end.

Through Hundreds of Years,” just cuts through you, such is its speed and desire to melt your face with the unrelenting vocal assault.  The vocals are actually rather depraved in parts and the spoken word sections are menacing. The final track, “Sanatory Silence,” is, at times, a more slower pace, languished journey.  All of the acidic elements of the band remain in place but it feels like extra care and devotion was used for this song. Whereas the previous tracks were happy enough to shred you to pieces to make their presence known, this one has a bit more patience in places and I think it really help to their overall sound justice.

THEOTOXIN may not be reinventing any black metal wheels but what they do, they do very well.  If you like black metal then of course you need this but if you have been afraid or unsure where to start with the genre, this would be a solid album to begin with.

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

3 Star Rating

1. Golden Tomb
2. Obscure Divinations
3. Prayer
4. Through Hundreds of Years
5. Philosopher
6. Two Ancient Spirits
7. Sanatory Silence
Joachim Tischler – Bass
Flo Musil – Drums
Fabian Rauter – Guitars
Martin Frick – Guitars
Ragnar – Vocals
Record Label: Art of Propaganda


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