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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/