The old provinces of Eastern Germany seem to be a hotbed for interesting bands of all kinds. Indeed of all things cultural – and beyond. And this goes for theatrical endeavors as well as music of all flavors.
The RMR crew had the pleasure to cover special underground bands like Antyra from Leipzig already. You know, these guys with their rough and eerily weird, yet fascinating story-telling techniques. With an extremely epic, but very down-to-earth metal taste. I love them, but they are so out of the mainstream that not many RMR fans will follow. It is a special kind of geekery, I admit.
And – indeed – underground breeds more underground.
The German Black Metallers Zeit (time) not only hail from the same location. But they sport an inherent rebel streak and we like that at RMR. In other words, the radar blip on our search-and-review screen just got bigger once we learned about that little detail.
Zeit became conscious of this mortal coil in the unholy year of the lord 2010. Konvergenz is their first full-length album after one demo and a smattering of EPs. And I daresay their style and delivery matured compared to former concoctions. Yet they still insist on delivering their very own style and not be confined by others into boxes.
Ok then, let’s see how much rebel hides in Konvergenz.
Because – in the beginning at least – Konvergenz (convergence) delivers Black Metal the way it was initially thought of. Just when you are about to shrug this record off as yet another Black Metal record without fantasy, their thunderous riffing starts pounding away at your steely resolve. Zeit marries this with some sort of a melodic flavor as of Rand (edge) – the second track. Then add the goblin-like Black Metal rasps to this recipe that somehow sound like fingernails scraping down a blackboard.
Their style sounds like some mix between Rorcal and Darkend with a penchant for doomy sadboi sounds in a very black robe. The trio found the right mix of guitar riffs, dark and foreboding bass, and drum work that is frankly never boring. If you compare this to other underground Black Metal gigs, the difference is pretty astounding. The outcome is a pretty loud sludgy flow of Black Metal that oscillates between different metal styles quite outside the usual Black Metal realm.
But why, oh why do Zeit make us wait until Trüb (murky) arrives on the scene. Dark, foreboding sounds of deepest Doom Black Metal turn out to be the fillet piece of the record. And finally, the bass is put to intelligent use. Starting off with traditional twanging, weeping guitars follow suit until more traditional Black Metal takes over.
Yet, Konvergenz loses some steam in the second half. But it is a mixed tableau of many shades of grey: Some tracks do actually gain some speed from the foregoing somewhat pensive march to oblivion in the dark abode. Just check out Unten (below) thunderously speeding down this ominous riff-infested doomy road. On the other hand, we start to see repetitions of riffing patterns and a certain listlessness in delivery on some of the other tracks. And that – definitely – is not a good thing.
So, what did Konvergenz finally deliver? Rebels or wusses?
This album is addictive. Zeit‘s desire to be outside of the sludgy mainstream ends up in a scratchy, itchy, but very interesting brand of Black Metal. The sepulchral riffs cunningly used bass and the croaky rasps definitely lay the groundwork for a pretty cool metal album. Once you add the remarkably varied drum work, their tune will make you come back for more. The album settles indeed on a course in between genres. Yet, you will never forget its origins: A Black Metal piece sailing outside the charted waters, spiked with portentous riffs and infested with sharks. And you will never know where you will end up.
Now let me warn ye, lonesome metal traveler: This is a dish for the metal connoisseur. If you are not too metallically minded, give it a try. But have a care on the chili sauce. The dish already dispenses two million Scoville. Enough to burn any non-metal dude or dudette to cinders. Enjoy!
Now, get me that new record.
Record Rating: 7/10 | Label: Self-Released | Web: Facebook
Release date: 2 June 2017