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Todtgelichter - Apnoe

by Dorothy Cheng at 09 May 2013, 11:24 AM

Despite once being a typical Black Metal band, TODTGELICHTER has now veered in a very eccentric direction – one that is paved with artistic, experimentation, and sometimes, purely bizarre musicality. Black Metal is a genre that is famous for its ever-evolving philosophy. A lot of bands, to set themselves apart, take to avant-gardism to showcase the different aspects of their creativity. Sometimes though, certain bands take it an inch too far, leaving listeners with a record that is rank of Metalness, but rife with art.

Is there a problem with this? Well, to the average consumer of metal, “metal” connotes certain things. They would expect certain musical and lyrical patterns. Slight deviations, diverse platforms and creative mediums are accepted, if not welcomed, but some adherence to the protocol should be observed, to make listeners feel that it was really a “Metal record” that they were appreciating. "Apnoe" felt more like an alternative rock record. In fact, I felt like I was listening to a more sophisticated and less mainstream version of EVANESCENCE. To be honest, I was slightly confused. At times, the metal influences were not evident at all. Other times, they were thrown in randomly. And yet other times, they melded in with the experimentation nicely. However, this only produced a mellow PAPA ROACH-like song to me.

Examining the theme of the album, I came across some lyrics one does not normally find in a Metal record. I have to commend the band for this artistic liberality and braveness. Coupled with some strange tinkling instrumentals consisting of synths, keyboards, and perhaps even triangles, the effect was rather sweet. Is this a good thing? Well, it is still supposed to be a Metal record and some might find it a little cringe-worthy, while some make not make much of the difference. That being said, female vocalist Marta has a lovely ethereal voice. Very Nordic and wistful, perfect for a melodic Metal record. However, when put into a medium such as Post Metal, which the band describes themselves as, the effect only exposed further how much more pop-inclined the record was than it was metal-inclined.

The lyrics carry a very hippie message. If I remember correctly, it mostly expounds on themes such as loving yourself and accepting differences. All very noble, and fitting to the music as well, but I couldn't connect with it. It seemed somewhat forced and orchestrated in order to fit the music. Overall, this sentimental record does have its highs. The band managed to pull all the various aspects together to hold the record up, producing a very Zen album. Jazz influences cropped up here and there, adding groove and musicality. This album is the epitome of Avant Garde, and the thing with art is that it's subjective. Personally, I couldn't really connect with the music or the message of "Apnoe". But if you're into experimenting, Jazz, and Nordic / Baltic / Scandinavian influences, give the record a try.

3 Star Rating

1. Embers
2. Lights of Highways
3. Beyond Silence
4. Kollision
5. Tiefer Fall
6. Expectations
7. Soil
8. Torn
9. Until it all Begins
10. Odem
Claudio – Guitars
Marta – Organ, Vocals
Tentakel Parkinson – Drums, Keyboards
Frederic – Guitars, Vocals
Christoph Wonerow – Bass
Tobias – Vocals
Record Label: Code666 Records


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