I have never previously encountered this Austrian quartet but what I can tell you is that their brand of bleak and melancholic black metal with an emphasis on trance-inducing riffs and tortured vocals that reek of despair and existential angst is a noteworthy one. 

There is a subtle sense of beauty to this otherwise harsh and oppressive piece of work as well as a mesmeric vibe and an unsettling effect to its six compositions. Due to its introspective yet crushing feel, immersing oneself in the record is perhaps best described as embarking on an interior journey where unresolved tension and deep-seated bitterness come to the fore and leave you feeling absolutely drained mentally afterwards. From monotonous riffs that ooze sadness to mellow passages that offer respite and further on to huge, hypnotic soundscapes, there is nothing traditional about this elegantly composed opus and it is all the better for it. The vocals are incredibly efficient and downright punishing, and A’s voice is an instrument in itself and one that infuses the tracks with some highly interesting nuances and flavors.

Although “Abkehr” is rooted in black metal, it sounds so different and personal that I am seriously tempted to label it post-black metal in order to underline the fact that this is not your run-of-the-mill black metal release. Labeling it depressive black metal almost seems like an insult as it is so much more than that, if you catch my drift. One can easily tell that a lot of heart, soul, and passion went into crafting this slithering mass of inner turmoil and that pertains to the music, the lyrics, the song titles, the artwork, and the layout. In short, this is one of those killer discs where everything comes together and simply works. I recommend headphones and solitude for maximum effect, and should you need a teaser then check the brilliant and appropriately titled “I Feel Nothing” out.

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