RATTENFÄNGER – Geisslerlieder
It has been quite a while since the Ukrainian death metal mongers Rattenfänger unleashed their utterly dark and brutal debut offering (i.e. “Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum” from 2012), but to my great surprise this sophomore effort of theirs showed up in my mailbox recently. Boasting a line-up consisting of skilled and seasoned veterans from acts such as Hate Forest and Drudkh, this four-piece definitely has a sound and an evil aura of its own. Although “Geisslerlieder” is firmly rooted in old-school death metal and not exactly light years away from early Morbid Angel, Asphyx, and Bolt Thrower, the thick and blackened grooves that course through these new deadly compositions reek of Rattenfänger, which is to say everything that is unholy and morbidly strange but with the ensemble’s charismatic and characteristic touch added.
Pitch black in tone and relentlessly ugly in terms of atmosphere, “Geisslerlieder” is a majestic piece of work stripped of excess and fat; everything has a meaning and a purpose, everything flows together seamlessly. It is varied with respect to tempo and pace, and one rarely comes across a record that is as cohesive and compelling as this one. Rumbling and rotten, memorable and crushing, this glorious seven-song opus totally slays and leaves very little to be desired. Well, the introductory piece does seem a little superfluous and never quite manages to establish a truly sombre mood, but other than that this is pretty much flawless. The sparse use of keyboards throughout rules too and adds an ominous and brooding feel to the affair. In short, “Geisslerlieder” was most definitely worth the long wait. You need this! Album highlights and standout tracks: “Les Bons Bommes” and “Funis Coronat Opus”.