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Urfaust took me by complete surprise the first time I had heard their unusual blend of music. I was unaware that the bands vocalist performed in such a way, with some form of clean vocals. Verräterischer, Nichtswürdiger Geist represents somewhat of a change to these unique vocals in the fact that they're not quite as cut throat or powerful as they were on Geist Ist Teufel. They're still emotive and hauntingly dark, but not to the same extent as they were on the massively impressive Geist Ist Teufel.
Verräterischer, Nichtswürdiger Geist continues where we left off on the debut full-length. This is in terms of the depressing atmospheric nature Urfaust creates with their unusual blend of clean and indecipherable screamed vocals. They're bellowed out with raw emotion and intense passion, this is a positive that has remained from the debut which is pleasing. Urfaust had managed to perfect the aforementioned aspects therefore there was no real need for change.
The buzzing chainsaw-esque guitars remain very much the same again. Playing at a generally slow pace, which compliments the vocals Urfaust have as they tend to be slow and transcendental in approach. The vocals can sometimes be swept away in the perpetually slow droning riffs. A negative with this approach to play is the fact that Urfaust have a very hazy production. Elements of the music can be lost in the haze and this can sometimes mean Urfaust lack direction.
The long drawn out ambient songs are needless in my opinion. They showcase next to nothing of Urfaust's undeniable ability. I'm not overly fond of orchestral music as it is, so these parts can often be hard for me to appreciate. Elements like this can be risky. It entirely depends upon the listener as to whether they will understand the need for such occurrences. Said passages add no depth and detract from the depressingly dark atmosphere that Urfaust have spent the majority of the album creating. It can seem like you're listening to two very different bands and two very contrasting albums.
Contrasting emotions are also somewhat problematic here. Verflucht das Blenden der Erscheinung for example appears quite upbeat, whereas other songs will seem completely dissonant and differ from the moods and tones Urfaust have laid down. Der Gottesverächter is a good example of a contrasting song with it's mid paced melodies and stunning rhythmic nature. Urfaust have followed up a great full-length, with a rather mixed bag. Verräterischer, Nichtswürdiger Geist fails to harness what the previous full-length had established and thus leaves the listener feeling dissatisfied. Ragnarök Mystiker is a particular highlight.
This stuff is incredible. I've been a fan of Urfaust for a very long time now, and they never cease to amaze me. There's always some new little detail to discover through the poor recording-quality. Because the quality of the recording is very low, but everything is still audiable and it serves to create a great atmosphere and enhance the already eerie and haunting feeling created by the droning riffs and drums and Willem's incredible vocals, ranging from tortured screams and howls to the sludgy, almost drunken clean singing and what sounds like the secluded and mournful rambelings of a man tortured by insanity and lonlines.
This album is majestically started with the epic classical piece Dunkel, Still von Ewigkeit (Dark, silent eternity), clocking in at over 13 minutes, which builds up a great atmosphere, starting of softly and over the last two minutes building up to a booming climax then setting of Ragnarök Mystiker. This song is quite representative with it's triplet/shuffle-feel on the instruments, the very characteristic singing of Willem and the droning guitar and simple drums. This is continued by Gespinnst der Verderbens (Web of Destruction) following in the same vein as Ragnarök Mystiker, sending the listener into a trance of repetition and great atmosphere to the point where the music isn't even there anymore, it's not music, it's just something that is there, that surrounds you with it's tortured chants and mauling distortion on the guitar. This is then followed by Trauerhöhle (Cave of Sorrow), an ambient track at over 10 minutes of length, in the same vein as Dunkel, Still von Ewigkeit, but more droning at first but with the same type of climax. Verflucht das Bleden der Erscheinung (Cursed the blinding of appearance ) follows closely behind with a very sinister intro and some extremely tortured screams. The mood is set by the intro and it follows through the entire song, it puts you back in the trance. Der Gottesverächter (The Despiser of God) is probably one of my favourite songs on this album, it's more melodic than the song proceeding it and the vocals are mostly clean and very melodic. Closing the album is In den Weiten Öden Raumen (In the wide, deserted rooms), another ambient track and the shortest one of those on the album, a very mellow song for the most part, serving as a great closer and gets you out of your trance.
All in all, a bloody great album by one of my favourite metal bands, well worth buying, although I guess you either love it or hate it, since it can be quite weird at times. A definite gem and must have in black metal.