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Weber & Knechte – Dunkelheit

Weber & Knechte
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 14 July 2021, 9:56 AM

In January 2017, the band was born from a jam session at a party in Detmold. After just a few rehearsals together it was clear that more should come of it. The founding members Dirk Starke, Samuel Lück, and Dirk Weber spent many months looking for a drummer and a bassist. Half a year after the founding, the band had their first own tracks, but couldn't find a drummer, so the band took an unusual route: they decided to record all drums digitally and make the lack of a drummer one of their trademarks. Around the same time, in the summer of 2017, the three men recruited their bassist Konrad Roll, who has completed the quartet to this day. In September 2019, after a year of gigs without a real drummer, the four realized that there was no real drum kit on stage. Philipp Abu-Adal, the new drummer, was quickly recruited into their own ranks. “Dunkelheit” is the band’s sophomore release and contains twelve tracks.

“Biest” leads off the album. It begins with a dark riff and somewhat muted production. Sung in native German, the vocals are raspy, while the instrumentation is tinged with symphonic elements. Billed as Modern Metal, I’m unsure about the label. “Jungs weinen nicht” features some slightly harsher vocal screams, amidst some more atmospheric elements. The sound in these passages is quite charming. But, without much of a transition, it goes back to the harsher sound in the beginning. It slows towards the end, with fuzzy guitars.

“Schaflos” begins with a traditional guitar riff and some piano passages. It still has that uniquely German style to it…it’s cold and inhospitable. “Herr derr Welt” is a short, three minutes of intensity that is unstoppable. Guitars, bass and drums begin that signature gallop, as the pace is hastened. The shouting is beginning to grate on me a bit. “Markus” begins with more of a Dungeon Synth sound from the keys, and brief guitar accents. It’s almost jovial in nature with the clean vocals, especially nice with the harmonies.

“Zweigesict” begins with another dreamy sound coming from the instrumentation, but it doesn’t take long for the shouted vocals to clean house on the sound. The riff takes a darker turn as the pace picks up. The marching sound is actually annoying. “Dunkelheit” is a three-and-a-half-minute song that opens with a slow pace. The atmospheric elements in the beginning are nice but are washed away quickly by the shouted vocals. “Nacht der 1000 Gefarhen” has some marching rhythmic qualities and is faster in pace, but damn if those shouted vocals don’t ruin the song for me. “Grosser Bruder” begins with more of the atmospheric elements, but in come the angry vocals again. If the instruments could talk, they would tell an ancient tale of love lost or longing for love.

“Die Ein” also opens with some lighter elements in the instruments, and levelling vocals which just overtake everything. The sound is depressing and angry at the same time. “Kaperfaht” is another shorter song with a crunchy riff and more marching qualities. The sound here is a bit more straightforward, but the clean vocal harmonies put a stamp on the melancholy nature of the song. “Tuer” closes the album. It opens with a slow, lumbering pace, where the shouted vocals take center stage. Picking up in pace for just a spell, it returns again to the opening sound. It waxes and wanes several times this way throughout the song.

Did ALESTORM go Black Metal? As far as a style and label, I’m not sure what to call it. It’s dark, and with a mix of clean and harsh vocals, and even some piano notes here and there. One thing I do not care for is the vocal style. Shouting is my least favorite of all vocal styles. It’s just too damn harsh. I probably would have liked it better if they were more traditional harsh vocals, mixed in with some cleans. But the music is unique, though it failed to really make a mark on me in the end.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 5
Memorability: 3
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

1. Biest
2. Jungs weinen nicht
3. Schaflos
4. Herr derr Welt
5. Markus
6. Zweigesict
7. Dunkelheit
8. Nacht der 1000 Gefarhen
9. Grosser Bruder
10. Die Ein
11. Kaperfaht
12. Tuer
Dirk Weber – Vocals
Dirk Starke – Guitar
Samuel Lück – Guitar
Konrad Roll – Bass
Philipp Abu-Adal – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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