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Let us talk about language. Let us talk about its impact and how it is perceived. Let us further place it in the context of the black metal theatre. Yes indeed, theatre or circus; there is not much of a difference and the meaning is actually the same. Does anyone pay much attention to what the bands express and sing about? Do the lyrics of the latest Dark Funeral outputs – to name a prominent band – leave a bitter taste due to its open blandness and shallowness?
Well … the German band Schwarze Stille are definitely on par with the “performance” of the Swedish band. Someone familiar with the language – here it is always the native tongue that has been mutilated – will shake the head over the content of the texts.
Some examples (and I will not bring myself to translating these … passages):
Augen des Wahnsinns
Der Raum ist kalt, der Atem gefriert zu Eis,
ich sehe Bilder von denen keiner weiss.
Umgeben von toten Menschen, deren Anblick niemand sieht,
die Angst vorm Alleinsein mich in den Wahnsinn zieht.
(inspiration The Sixth Sense, but expressed on a rather low level without an understanding of the psychological aspects. Music does not reflect it and the screams are quite absurd.)
Der Menschen Neid,
der Menschen Hochmut,
der Menschen Haß
der Menschen Wut
opferte er seinen Geist.
Zu viel Böses was er gesehen
ließ den Glauben versagen,
sein Weg nun bestimmt
durch der Menschen dunkle Seite
(to be frank: it is some kind of tiring tree-hugger track, which has some strange passages of deluding nature mysticism. An especially enduring aspect are the vocals)
And these are merely the first two (!) compositions. Without much difficulty other ridiculous excerpts can be produced. Schattengrab is simply terrible, Dämonennächte is confus and Rückkehr somewhat ludicrous. And on and on the band progresses and shows no mercy towards the listener. Worst of all is the general concept of the music: the emphasis, and this is no joke, had been put on the vocals (!), whose parts – there are two voices at times – are nearly omnipresent. Torment brought full circle.
Licht and Schatten translates to “Light and Shadow” … guess what prevails. It is easy to add a play on the band name as well in this regard.
As such, the music can basically be ignored. Whether there is something or not does not matter much. One inch deep water feels like a Mariana Trench compared to what the Germans have to offer. Yes, one has give Schwarze Stille points for the catchiness of it all and that the facets had been balanced nicely, but in the end they leave nothing. They have no impact whatsoever. In some respect the whole purpose of the riffs/arrangements seems to be their actual existence … and nothing beyond that. Furthermore, every track follows a similar pattern. Slight variation … but the overall direction is kept.
Non-Germans might be able to appreciate this album, while those with language skills that enable them to understand the band in a meaningful way, will shy away from it. The debut is on par with the first demo output in terms of the quality. Music for the masses, without identity and without something memorable. Nothing progressive, nothing new, nothing fresh. A bland performance like it can be found by the legions in the metal scene; be it black metal or some other genre.