Todesstoss – Ebne Graun (Review)

TodesstossTodesstoss are a German black metal band and this is their eighth album.

After releasing 2015’s challenging and unusual Hirngemeer, Todesstoss are now back with their latest release, which features one 48 minute track.

Just like its predecessor, Ebne Graun is a sprawling, mind-shattering release full of discordant black metal, rampant experimentation and peculiar personality.

Ebne Graun is crafted from a black metal base and built on with doom, atmospheric, electronica and dark ambient elements, all delivered in an experimental avant-garde way.

On this sprawling song the listener is led down unusual, unexpected pathways, while taking in all manner of sights and experiences. The paths twist and curl in on themselves, mutating and changing throughout the journey, forging new connections and directions for the listener to become overwhelmed by.

The slow, atmospheric dirges are very effective, seeming to crawl under the listener’s skin and set up home. The more upbeat sections are equally well-done, but in different ways, becoming a bit more unhinged as more energy is fed into the music.

The different speeds are effectively used to channel the song where it needs to go, despite the various meandering detours that it wants to take here and there. For the bulk of the musical delivery each different type of section flows into the next one, usually while the more quirky and unusual elements of the music keep doing their own thing. It all fits together remarkably well, and for the most part the end result is actually quite coherent and consistent in its mood and atmosphere, probably even more so than on Hirngemeer.

The vocals are as diverse and as individualistic as the music. At turns dramatic, depressive, pained, excitable, furious, passionate, emotional and a whole heap of other things; the singer has had his work cut out for him on Ebne Graun, but he’s up for the challenge and acquits himself nicely.

Like being on a ride at a dark, esoteric carnival, Ebne Graun can be disorienting and downright terrifying at times, but it’s mostly best to just hold on tight and take it all in as best you can. You know that you’re probably going to miss a lot of the best stuff the first time around, but you also know that if you can muster up the courage to have a second go you’ll discover even more.

Ebne Graun is not for the casual, uninitiated metal fan. However, anyone that has a taste for the esoteric and out of the ordinary that exists at the fringes of extreme music would be wise to check this out.

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