Rating:
8.7
Urfaust - Verräterischer, Nichtswürdiger Geist
March 2005


01. Dunkel, Still Von Ewigkeit
02. Ragnarök Mystiker
03. Gespinnst Des Verderbens
04. Trauerhöhle
05. Verflucht Das Blenden Der Erscheinung
06. Der Gottesverächter
07. In Den Weiten Öden Räumen


A few weeks ago, out of my inherent love for the genre, I began browsing around on Youtube for more black metal bands to discover. There were a few standouts here and there, but most were just sticking to that raw, "trve kvlt" sound of the early Scandinavian scene. So, tired of hearing all these modern Darkthrone and Burzum imitators, I was about ready to give up my search for something original altogether, when I saw a band called Urfaust on my recommended videos list. I decided to check them out, just for the hell of it, thinking almost immediately that they were yet another band emulating the early 90s black metal sound. Boy was I in for a pleasant surprise.

What makes Verräterischer, Nichtswürdiger Geist (if not all of Urfaust's discography) truly interesting is the beautiful blending of black metal with a dark orchestral undertone. The album kicks off with "Dunkel, still von Ewigkeit," and right away, like being plunged into a nightmare, the eerie, atmospheric nature of the music grabs hold of you and doesn't let go. The point around 7:40 into said track actually sounds like the sort of music you'd expect to hear if all of a sudden you turned around to see a phantom behind you! This dark, ethereal vibe is only further developed on the album's other two instrumentals: "Trauerhöhle," and the closer, "In den weiten öden Räumen." Yet this isn't all there is to the album's sound, and the balance between this macabre atmosphere and the traditional gritty, black metal sound of the other four tracks is maintained quite nicely.

And if the haunting atmosphere of the music isn't enough, there are also the vocals, which skate a very delicate line between a black metal style, a clean style, and sometimes even a strange combination of the two (the latter part of the third track, "Gespinnst des Verderbens" being a fine example of this interesting fusion). The fact that the lyrics aren't sung in English also helps to create a sense of the band attempting to re-create sounds of their native land, and it certainly adds to the sense of the music's mystique: that there is something Urfaust is creating through their music that only a select few would fully comprehend, and this secretive aura fits almost perfectly with the overall vibe the music creates.

To put it simply, Urfaust are definitely one of the more boldly experimental black metal bands in the scene these days, and Verräterischer, Nichtswürdiger Geist is an excellent testament to this. Fans of symphonic black metal will most likely enjoy it, although it should be noted that Urfaust aren't symphonic in the sense of, say, Emperor or Dimmu Borgir moreso in an orchestral, almost dark ambient sense. This band shows an obvious influenced from dark classical composers, such as Wagner or Mussorgsky, in their overall sound, and this indeed separates them from the rest of the black metal pack. There are many bands in metal that claim to be classically-influenced, but so few actually emulate said influence as blatantly as do Urfaust. I haven't explored the rest of their discography much, but Verräterischer, Nichtswürdiger Geist is a definite gem from a band that seriously deserves much more attention for the distinct atmosphere they manage to create with their music.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 8


Band profile: Urfaust
Album: Verräterischer, Nichtswürdiger Geist


 


written by Apothecary | 09.04.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Oaken - 31.05.2012 at 22:10  
Awesome album. After one listen, I can say that this is very intriguing. The clean vocals are quite original and gothic-y.
Good review too.
Apothecary - 01.06.2012 at 04:33  
Written by Oaken on 31.05.2012 at 22:10

Awesome album. After one listen, I can say that this is very intriguing. The clean vocals are quite original and gothic-y.
Good review too.

Thanks man, I was wondering when someone was going to comment on this lol. And yes, the music is great too, but the vocal style does indeed top it all off. Very distinct style.
Oaken - 02.06.2012 at 21:54  
Written by Apothecary on 01.06.2012 at 04:33

Written by Oaken on 31.05.2012 at 22:10

Awesome album. After one listen, I can say that this is very intriguing. The clean vocals are quite original and gothic-y.
Good review too.

Thanks man, I was wondering when someone was going to comment on this lol. And yes, the music is great too, but the vocal style does indeed top it all off. Very distinct style.

Final verdict - Great album, the black metal tracks are crushing. However, the fact that the ambient (Not a fan of them ATM) songs are longer than half the album is a bit disappointing.
Final score = 8.0-8.5
Mr. Doctor - 02.06.2012 at 21:59  
Written by Oaken on 02.06.2012 at 21:54

Final verdict - Great album, the black metal tracks are crushing. However, the fact that the ambient (Not a fan of them ATM) songs are longer than half the album is a bit disappointing.
Final score = 8.0-8.5


I personally like their ambient touches. Urfaust actually started as a full ambient band... But after their demo era they went to Black Metal.
You should try Der Freiwillige Bettler. Probably their best album to date.
Oaken - 02.06.2012 at 22:12  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 02.06.2012 at 21:59

I personally like their ambient touches. Urfaust actually started as a full ambient band... But after their demo era they went to Black Metal.
You should try Der Freiwillige Bettler. Probably their best album to date.

I, too, like the ambient songs. I would listen to them from time to time. The thing is though, when I saw that the album is 52 minutes I didn't expect it to have 30 minutes of ambient and 20 minutes of black metal. The ambiance is still moody, sad and very, very Gothic. Very suitable for listening to while reading something like Edgar Allan Poe.
And I'll have a look at their latest album soon.
BTW do you agree that Urfaust wouldn't have stood out if not for their vocals?
Mr. Doctor - 02.06.2012 at 22:33  
Written by Oaken on 02.06.2012 at 22:12

BTW do you agree that Urfaust wouldn't have stood out if not for their vocals?


It depends in how you like your black metal. Your comment could apply in their first album when the black metal was quite minimal (I love that album too, well... I enjoy all their work). But I wouldn't say that about their latest at all because they really improved musically and don't depend on the vocals as much as before. I personally don't feel their music as gothic as you feel it though.

So my answer is: In the beginning of their discography... Yes (but I see nothing wrong with it) but nowdays: No.
Oaken - 02.06.2012 at 22:45  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 02.06.2012 at 22:33

Written by Oaken on 02.06.2012 at 22:12

BTW do you agree that Urfaust wouldn't have stood out if not for their vocals?


It depends in how you like your black metal. Your comment could apply in their first album when the black metal was quite minimal (I love that album too, well... I enjoy all their work). But I wouldn't say that about their latest at all because they really improved musically and don't depend on the vocals as much as before. I personally don't feel their music as gothic as you feel it though.

So my answer is: In the beginning of their discography... Yes (but I see nothing wrong with it) but nowdays: No.

Thanks, I'll take that in mind when I move to the other albums.

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