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The opening Gegen Gravitation und Willensfreiheit is little more then the distorted sounds of various animals of unknown origin, clamoring and shrieking in pain and rage, while a thundering drum smashes against the backdrop in pure frustration. The monster of the sub-conscious perhaps, throwing itself against the weakened walls of one's sanity, breaking down the barriers of humanity in a desperate search for freedom and flesh. Gegen Gravitation und Willensfreiheit is a bestial experience, one of transformation and emancipation from a cold, unnatural world that we live in today. It's a black metal album unlike any I have heard: it's rawness and repetition are instantly familiar, but it's atmosphere is completely alien and unique. No album has ever made me feel like Gegen Gravitation und Willensfreiheit has, and the album leaves not only a lasting emotional impression, but a physical one as well. Gegen Gravitation und Willensfreiheit is full contact art, unsympathetic yet oddly warm and inviting, drawing you in with it's comforting yet imposing guitar sound and emotional, devastatingly sad vocals.
Once the cage to the beast within is opened, Gegen Gravitation und Willensfreiheit envelops you in it's controlled insanity. Then opening untitled track(all the tracks are untitled) features no more then three actual riffs, repeated continuously with consistent speed and mounting intensity, while an inhuman shriek likely saying nothing at all calls out from the abyss of distortion and blast-beats. It's a deceptively simple composition, more endurance then skill, but it's incredibly effective and powerful. The vocals devolve into nothing more then mad wails, choking noises and bellows, and by now the transfixing and hypnotic riffs have put you under their spell. You feel every ounce of the sadness and anger; you become the beast within.
The following tracks are somewhat more traditional, yet remain sickening in their darkness and bewitching in their construction. There is an obvious influence of depressive black metal, yet GGUW do not sound like any black metal artist I can really think of, other then perhaps Luciation(though both projects evoke entirely different images and emotions). All the elements are familiar, but presented in such a way as to be unparalleled in the genre.
If any complaint against Gegen Gravitation und Willensfreiheit can be levied, it's that the album feels somewhat incomplete. At only three tracks, it features an obvious intro but ends abruptly and without much fanfare. So does life it seems; it's likely the album feels unfinished because of the recent passing of guitar player Wolfrano Ketzer, who committed suicide in May Hearing the bleakness of Gegen Gravitation und Willensfreiheit makes it hard not to wonder if the personal demons facing Mr. Ketzer had some impact on the sound and emotions of the album. This is all speculation of course: maybe this was how the album was intended to feel and I have no inside information on what exactly happened or why. But Gegen Gravitation und Wilensfreiheit feels like an album written and performed by men who understand suffering, and those emotions come through clearly and powerfully. In a small sliver of positive news, GGUW will try and forge on without him, a testament to both the internal strength of their members and of a love for making music about anything but love.
I can only hope for more. Gegen Gravitation und Wilensfreiheit may be short, but it's an album which can be listened to over and over again despite the despondency of it's atmosphere and themes. It's a small jewel, a tiny masterpiece whose impact far exceeds it's stature. It calls to the inner monster within all of us, and it cannot help but answer it.
originally posted at http://curseofthegreatwhiteelephant.blogspot.com/
There are still some bands, that are able to create their own, new world in the seemingly dead Black Metal genre; those that mark staffs though their manner of playing without leaving the old paths behind. Such a band is GGUW.
This extremely obscure group whose members remain anonymous – except for a departed one – cannot be assigned to a place, which also applies to its music. On the vinyl LP, which was limited to 321 manually numbered pieces, one can find three tracks of traditional Black Metal that establishes new best marks in a simple, unornamented way without capers. None of the titles carries a name; a feature that, like the lack of band photos or lyrics, supports the focus on the creation of music.
The first eye-catcher is the design: professional and fancying details in an extraordinary way. Particularly the fact that they produced themselves is a circumstance very seldom to find. The vinyl is packed in a grommet on which the name of the band and LP shine (the name meaning: Against Gravitation and Free Will) and fold-out board poster on which one can see a strange, blind figure that seemingly resembles a daemon out of ash. High-quality material print and heavy material leave a tremendously good impression.
Once the music starts spreading in your room, you become part of an intensive, astonishing adventure: a pounding piece of an Intro – only 60 seconds long – similar to a muffled gong; then the first nameless track is
set free. Creaking vocals more whispered and aspirated than cried out, get tangled in the dissonant sounding monster as it never has been heard before. Rolling drums in high pace crackle down on the snaring guitars right before the song mutates into a stream of lament: The vocals turn into a howling, wallowing and swinging around; the slight start of a melody and that’s it. The two remaining songs dwell on exactly this unusual style, whereas the second rather sounds like floating battle, interrupted through pauses, and the third hysterical and nervous. Overall, the music brings an insane darkness into being, appearing to be haunted and endlessly deep. Nonetheless GGUW do not leave the paths of the traditional Black Metal behind:
The paceis high, no keyboards played and a basically aggressive mood generated. Yet there is a difference since no lyrical concept has been adapted.
The chances and risks of such an idea are those of letting the listener wander in the dark. To one mind ‘Gegen Gravitation und Willensfreiheit’ might be too abstract and unhandy to satisfy the hunger for grim BM. Those listeners who want to experience the abysses of music, who want to become part of the art work, by having to devote their own personality, to profit from the work, will take on a very personal bond with the music, which is unique. I want to urgently advise anyone to get this in a manifold sense rare piece of art for themselves.