Marienbad - Werk 1: Nachtfall

Disc I
01. Komm Nach Marienbad
02. Roslins Fluch
03. Sieben Im Teich
04. Flammnacht
05. Endbahnhof
06. Die Gelbe Villa Der Selbstmörder
07. Wasserwall
08. Unter Dammkrone

Disc II [Special Edition with English lyrics]
01. Come To Marienbad
02. Roslins Curse
03. Seven In The Lake
04. Night Of Flames
05. Last Terminal
06. The Yellow Mansion Of Suicide
07. Wall Of Water
08. Under Dam Crest

Deutsche Welle part 3.

What do Eisregen, The Vision Bleak, underwater graves and the Czech Republic have in common? The correct answer is Marienbad, a German act attracted by the mystery of a small town that was flooded in the 60s - where, as a matter of fact, a storage lake appeared afterwards. Not everyone left, twelve of the inhabitants managed to stay there until the very end when the waters devoured their last breath. This and other horrifying stories forge the lyrical core of Werk 1 - Nachtfall whose music anchors in the depths of a lake of souls and memories.

First things first, Nachtfall is the conceptual child of Eisregen's M. Roth and Yantit of which the first one wrote the lyrics and performed all the vocals and the latter composed the music, dealing at the same time with the guitars and the keyboards. Allen B. Konstanz of The Vision Bleak fame and West completed the line-up, lending a helping hand in drumming and bass matters equally.

The overall sound scenery evolves through a murky gothic metal spectrum. Keyboard lines which hold a sense of mystery and horror float all over the place; sometimes they emerge at the foreground, some others lurk in the background. A slow sense of devouring, a devious melancholy, and a threatening ambiance have to be the main core of the compositions. There are moments you're lost in dramatic soundscapes and all of a sudden something dreadful comes to the surface. The main idea relies upon mid-tempo passages that explode to more up-tempo groovier moments, letting the story-telling mode of the album flow in a like-minded way. Allen B. and West hold tight the compositions in an unerring way. They don't have to prove their abilities, the music doesn't ask for it anyway, henceforth they perform their role in the most appropriate way, either imposing or just accompanying. The guitars either get lost under a keyboard-driven wall of sound - yet you get to notice their misty tone - or inject menacing riffing/melodies that enrich the sound building. Some uplifting melodies in the overall darkness work as a temporary redemption process, but don't be unaware, they're only here to mislead you.

Of course the music is quite representative for what it wants to present, yet it wouldn't be the same without M. Roth's interpretation, it would just feel incomplete and would lack welcome amounts of the captivating ambiance that merges with the shadows. I've always considered the German language highly poetic and expressive and that's what takes place in here. The intense accent draws the listener to the vocals and whether they sound clean in a deeper tone or have a harsher edge, they're totally representative of the whole concept the band has in mind. The dramatic tone couldn't be missing from time to time since the stories behind Nachtfall ask for it and simply reaches their peak through the vocals/keyboards collaboration.

If you're a fan of The Vision Bleak and Eisregen then I don't see a reason why you shouldn't try Marienbad. Especially when you will notice the mysterious overtones of the first and the serious aspect of the other's ambiance enclosed in an envelope with sealing wax straight from the flooded outskirts.

If you enjoy the German language, but you'd also like to cherish the album in English, the limited edition has a second disc with the vocals in English. As for me, I only listened to it once but I definitely prefer the original version.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Written on 18.09.2011 by
"It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."
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Promonex - 18.09.2011 at 17:57  
The album has been on my radar for quite a while already, but I just haven't been in the mood for some Eisregen-y music. Actually the name and concept are not really based on the city of Marienbad AKA Mariánské Lázně in the Czech Republic, but on a fictional Spanish(!) village called Marienbad from the novel "Beneath Still Waters" which also spawned a horror flick. I don't know either, but Popcorn Pictures calls it an absolute train wreck of a film.
DerRozzengarten - 18.09.2011 at 18:05  
In the massacre records' band profile the band itself says this concerning the concept:
"In the early Sixties in former German Sudetenland - now Czech Republic - a valley was flooded and a storage lake appeared right where the small town of Marienbad once was. The inhabitants were relocated - but the twelve who didn't wanted to go and prefered suicide than an uncertain future... "
The only sure thing is, fictional or not, both happened in the 60s
Promonex - 18.09.2011 at 19:08  
Okay, I did some more research. According to M. Roth he inherited a book called something like "The Curse of Marienbad" from his grandmother. It's about a village in the Sudetenland, which indeed was flooded, but 12 of the villagers didn't want to be relocated, decided to stay in their hometown and eventually chose suicide. He says he changed the real name of the village because he didn't want everyone to just google the name which would have killed all the mysticism of the story. Plus the real name supposedly isn't as nice phonetically. The novel "Beneath Still Waters" is supposedly based on the same legends, but places it in a fictional town called Goulden's Falls, and the movie places the story in a village called Marinbad. M. Roth thought the flick was crap, but liked the name of the village and added an "e", probably to make it sound more like a Sudetenland place. The real place however has nothing to do with the city Mariánské Lázně, which was known as Marienbad back then, but was located in the region of Kamenický Šenov (called Stein-Schönau when it was part of Sudetenland), 200 km northeast of Mariánské Lázně. All this according to the band though, I have no idea how true these stories are, if at all. More about the whole concept can be found in the official forum (in German).
Promonex - 18.09.2011 at 19:51  
And a bit more research: there's a village called Golden's Bridge in Westchester County, New York, which might have been the inspiration for the name "Goulden's Falls" in the novel. Just 30 km south of Golden's Bridge is Kensico Lake, which takes its name from the village of Kensico. As the need for water of the ever-growing New York City was increasing, the village Kensico was evacuated and flooded, and the resulting Kensico Lake has become part of the Putnam/Westchester reservoir system to bring water to NYC.

More information:
DerRozzengarten - 18.09.2011 at 19:56  
Damn, the story moves from Czech to Spain and then to New York, twisted things Mr. Investigator!

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