Thursday, January 20, 2011

GRAUPEL - Am Pranger CD review

GRAUPEL - Am Pranger CD
Van Records
Genre: Black Metal
Rating: 4/5

I believe if a black metal band puts out their release the day before Christmas it has to be good. That's what this German band did and yes it's good. This band's brand of BM is cruel punishment like days of old on most of Am Pranger , which is their second full length. Although I wouldn't call it all brutality since there's a fair amount of slow brooding ambiance throughout and not just on the closer "Entgeistert". This release starts out with violent blackened bursts of war drums and riffs that slay the weak. That's just the opener "Daemonicum" and things just get much more intense as this beast machine rolls along. "Das blutende Mal" follows the same way but by mid-point slows down and adds some mildly nerve calming acoustic guitar. Vocalist Zingultus also gets a break from his pandemonium screaming to just ghastly spoken word haunts. Although it's short lived because the momentum picks up and by the end of it you're covered in filth. GRAUPEL reminds me of their countrymen ENDSTILLE in that they both create ferocious sounding black metal without compromise. The song "Schwarze Feder" definitely reminds me of ENDSTILLE with it's machine like blastbeat and tremolo flourishes.

Simply put this is pure unadulterated German Black Metal at it's best plus with a vocalist who can invoke fear with his screams. It's not until the fourth track "Herk├╝nfte Schatten" where you get a break but that's only for half a minute of it's intro. The song does bring in some variety as GRAUPEL delivers a more melodic assault until the halfway point and then it feels like their attack has just gotten personal. Then again the vocals are in German so they could just as well be reciting their mother's dumpling recipe and I'd still think it's threatening. "Kalte Fessel" follows in the same vein but "Ekel" is a black metal jam session. It's an blistering instrumental, almost, with nothing more than blast beats, tremolo riffs, bass leads and Zingultus gasping twice. This would've been a better closer than the more ambient "Entgeistert". To me "Ekel" represents that the battle, aka: "the battle for black metal supremacy", wages continuously. By tacking on "Entgeistert" it's more like "OK we're done now". I'm taking a point away because of that otherwise this is German BM perfection.



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