Being the most anticipated 2016 release at Infernal Masquerade, we have been sitting on writing this review for a few weeks to fully digest and process this album. Hailing from Germany, Todtgelichter started playing somewhat straightforward Black Metal until they started experimenting with other influences since their 2010 release “Angst”. From that release and to these days, the band has managed to craft a very unique blend of experimental/Avant-garde Black Metal that is completely disarming and emotionally raw. If you liked the band’s last two releases, you will be in for a treat with this one.
The album opens with the emotionally charged “Ghost” and its brilliant atmospheric elements. This track perfectly contrasts harsh and clean vocals while slowly building up the tempo with intricate drumming and lush atmospheric details. Continuing the emotional rollercoaster, the rawness of the opening of “Scherin” nicely transforms with all-out Post-Rock/Shoegazey melodic passages perfectly adorned by Marta’s iconic voice. This is one of the band’s best tracks to date due to the perfect contrast of heavy and melodic elements.
After slowly changing the mood with the atmospheric/ambient piece “Lost”, the experimental side of Todtgelichter appears with the trippy and moody “Shinigami”. This track has a certain jazzy/lounge vibe to it but with a few surprises. Completely changing the vibe of the album, we have the super experimental “Necromant” which reminds us of a combination of Manes and Ulver. Having brought in a new keyboardist and guitarist to the band gives “Rooms” a bit of a different edge than the previous releases and nicely rounds up an already strong musical core.
One of our favorite tracks has to be the crushing “Zuflucht”, which features some pretty hectic drums from Tentakel P., unique transitions and a brilliantly solemn closing. Continuing with a higher intensity, “4JK” and “Origin” are songs that remind us of the band’s past two releases and perfectly showcase the band’s unique sound. Closing with the bleakness of “Pacific” the band leaves us on a very high emotional note and with some trippy trip-hop elements that might signal for some bigger changes in the future.
Overall, “Rooms” is one hell of a release filled with tons of brilliant musical moments and small details that take a considerable amount of listens to fully unravel. Todtgelichter is definitively one of the most creative bands in the German scene. While not losing their Black Metal roots, they have managed to extend the genre and experiment with tons of influences in very crafty and creative ways. If you like experimental music that can still be enjoyed and digested, this is one of the best albums to explore.
Label: Supreme Chaos Records
Release: February 26th, 2016
Genre: Experimental/Avant-garde Black Metal