Waldgeflüster – Dahoam (2021) – Review

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In the past, the RMR crew leaned way out of its comfort zone to cover pieces that should never even appear on this ‘zine. But we are glad this happened, even if pushing boundaries is always a pretty wild gamble. But sometimes you just need to widen the horizon a bit and see what happens.

A lot of that happened in one of the most reviled but – at the same time – most interesting genres of the smelly metal underbelly. Black Metal sports many unholy facets. From total satanic virulence, to church burners, over moderates and wannabes, to those landscapers and fantasts that often use the dreaded drum machine. A juicily unholy section of the metal multiverse that keeps on giving with ever more surprises.

The German Waldgeflüster just appeared on our review list with a totally blackened piece. Another band using its dark powers to depict a landscape. And they appear to be pushing at their very own boundaries. Or are they really?

So, let’s travel to Bavaria in Germany.

The land of oversized beers, white sausages, and insanely good pretzels. You know, that part of Germany with the fairy castle from crazy Ludwig II. But, before you disappear at a dead run, take a breather and listen. This ain’t no copycat of good ol’ Summoning with their fondness of plastic drums and a serious lo-fi production streak.

Dahoam rages about majestic landscapes, of rich valleys with fat pastures, and wild scraggy mountains. The title translates literally to ‘at home’. Yet in the context of the record, it probably means ‘homeland’, more than anything else. That they croak away in Bavarian dialect is yet another funky quirk of this album.

In short, Waldgeflüster brings you an ode to their homeland. Expressed through an often astonishingly austere version of Atmospheric Black Metal and Post Black with real instruments. With a goodly portion of emotion slathered all over the piece thanks to Winterherz‘s sturdy and varied vocals.

Dahoam gorges with ambient samples of all sorts of noises of nature. And all that kinda works itself into a froth once the acoustics cease and the tremolos lift off with the pretty excellent drum work beating everything else against the wall. The record sports some true and almost hypnotic groove that – again – invites some reveries down the tracklist. And this, even though the caustic blackened parts with the often shouted vocals tend to brutally and deliciously grate against the walls of yer eardrums.

Yet unfortunately, Waldgeflüster‘s Atmoblack often failed to truly connect with our cold metal souls, to whip up that frenzy that makes us keep the attention up for 50 minutes, and wanting more. Their wares are rock-solid, no doubt about it. Yet, somehow the production moves from black to endlessly ambient and back – and nada.

Somehow, Dahoam sports an Atmospheric Black Metal from the genre’s very own playbook. Something we heard before somewhere, starting with the dime-a-dozen intro at the very beginning. A slice of metallic comfort food, drunken on sturdy progression and airy excursions into its wide soundscapes, as is its wont.

Yet again, the production is pristine and we truly enjoyed the sounds of nature that provide that seamless flow the record provides so effortlessly. Excellent tracks like the lengthy Am Tatzlwurm showcase an almost careless musical prowess, which is a sign of true artistic craftsmanship. In other words, they make this look easy when it is anything but.

Yet again, Am Wendelstoa – for instance – suddenly appears with a loosely connected motley selection of pretty cool folk ditties. Now, make no mistake, the RMR crew has a taste for folksy tunes. But it’s a pity that the closing track somehow sucked some of the crispness out of the record.

So, Dahoam serves us with that hot ‘n’ cold treatment that leads us to continually question what we just heard. A record that wants to go places, but constantly returns to known values. Instead of that full immersion into Bavaria’s lands and sounds that should make us forget the world around us.

On the other hand, the above doesn’t turn Waldgeflüster‘s new concoction into a bad record. Instead, you’ll get a pretty refined slab of largely traditional Atmospheric Black Metal that adepts of the genre will truly enjoy. A record delivered on a foundation of true emotion. An homage to a stretch of land that yours truly already visited a number of times and always found irresistible.

Ed’s note: Want to kick this up a notch? Try some Ellende, it’s worth it.

Record Rating: 6/10 | LabelAOP Records | Web: Official Band Site
Release Date: 24 September 2021

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