Following on from 2014’s Sieben, the band have now returned with 41 minutes of new material.
After a gap of many years, on their new album it seems that the band’s individualistic take on black metal is intact, and quite virulent. Shrike have a sound that’s infected with nervous energy, almost as if it could fly apart at any given point if it were not for the attentions of the various band members. It lends their music an air of unpredictability, which also translates into the album as a pleasing amount of variety within their self-governed framework of extremity.
Each song has its own character and reason for existence, and some of them are really quite individual and quirky beasts. Even the most ‘standard’ slices of blackened fury that the band unleash are notable for their charisma and identity, however.
I think the above probably, at least partially, comes down to the fact that Shrike are basically just trying to do their own thing within a genre that they love, and their enthusiasm is barely constrained by their songwriting. None of this is a bad thing, and it gives their music a charm and personality all of its own.
Zeitgeist – Geistzeit is an enjoyable listen of spiky, contorting black metal. It has a heart of fire, and a will to succeed, which it does quite freely.