Being huge suckers for Symphonic Black Metal, we got excited when we received the debut full-length release of Totengeflüster titled “Vom Seelensterben”. After several listens we still have mixed feelings about this release, one the one hand, there are some awesome songs, on the other hand, there are some totally filler self-masturbation ‘orchestral’ passages that should just be discarded. This release might have been better served as an EP, since as a whole it has less impact on the listener.
Opening with the traditional dramatic orchestration, the album finally kicks into gear with “Ein Traumgespints”, a fierce track that reminded us of the aggression put forth by bands like Anorexia Nervosa. The singing is superb and highly aggressive, the riffs are pretty solid and the overall aural experience is quite filling. There are some obvious Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth-esque elements inserted into the music, on tracks like “Ein Monolog im Mondschein”, but we can deal with them as long as they are not overdone.
Settling the debate if this release was using fake drums, “Gefrorene Tranen” spills the beans with some very poor ‘percussions’, however, the track’s atmospheric elements are pretty solid. The band’s power is felt again with the album title track, but also the novelty in their sound starts to fade as this track sounds a bit repetitive and rehashed from other bands. “Der Pakt” is a nice attempt to try to shake things up a bit with its opener, but the band immediately falls back into their repetitive style. There are also some issues with the production here and there and some things suddenly go drastically up in volume among other little details.
Stuff really starts getting tiresome by the time we reach the super predictable “Blutsegen”. The orchestral self-indulgence really kicks in with the devoid of spirit “Ein Neuer Pfad”. The same goes for “Im Tau der toten Morgensonne”, another track that is 99% filler. We are not opposed to orchestrations, but when they are tossed at the end of the album and slapped in front of half songs that the band had composed, they kind of defeat their purpose.
Overall, the core ideas behind “Vom Seelensterben” are good, but they get very quickly diluted by the band’s lack of experience. This release could have used a little trimming and probably only be an EP to really have an impact on the listener. As it stands, the band is clearly trying too hard by adding extra tracks that are half-way done when they should focus on cleaning up their sound from their extreme repetitive elements and try to improve on the bands they are borrowing from. We can only hope the band only keeps getting better and better in the future, but if you are a fan of Symphonic Black Metal and don’t mind a few rookie mistakes, be sure to grab a copy of this release since it does have some killer tracks.
|Album: Vom Seelensterben
Release: February 1st, 2013
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal