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Avant Ambiguity - 72%

Danthrax_Nasty, July 20th, 2009

Lost in peculiarity is one way to sum this up. In dramatic discord towards the obscure, this album is incredibly abstract in many ways, and musically presents a style lesser heard. Think Ophthalamia's Via Dolorosa meets Voivod's Nothing Face, except accomplished by a bit lesser talent so the presentations not as impressively developed, yet still of unique presence. A sort of blending of rock ideas in aggressive dissonance, though unfortunately theres little embellishments as far as leads / solos. Slow tempos, and an atonal, atonic, voice you're likely not to find elsewhere (though of subjective value) are also stand out qualities on this, as is an excellent sound quality & very bare presentation. Continuity holds together a strange landscape, a shadowy cold, and defined in the mental theater with out pretension, at least from my point of view.

Opening up the booklet you realize a couple things. One, ambiguity was a contrived aesthetic. Two, it challenges standards of what a layout should be, making sure to communicate very little. Third, the image, or lack there of may have hurt this release. Its just that the songs do not stand very far apart musically, and their textures all seem to be clearly of the same palette so even in tone everything just kind of blends, which may have been intended, but just leaves the songs languishing yet never garnering the reciprocation. I would think it possible that in the undertaking, the expressiveness of the songs out shined the vision of the artist, in that the linear body, formed of the repetition of elements, was not expounded on to a great enough degree. Just leaves room for want. Needed more moments like in Grund - Abgrund, at about 2 minutes, theres a nice tapping melody played over a thick rhythm creating potent atmosphere that excellently supplements the base atmosphere (long live variety!). But, to its abstract credit, one could find what ever one wants here (exactly my problem with abstract ultimately). Suppose it is the product of laboring to be mysterious.

In general this is a cool album, but for BM freaks only most likely. A Winterblut oddity.

Disharmonic Cafe - 58%

cinedracusio, September 21st, 2007

Here we have an obscure German band playing screwy discordant black metal. Therefore, my expectations from this album were damn high, but I got my ass to shreds, falling from Schoenberg's palace to a wintry (and very hard) ground.
I don't feel like writing a review of this album's aces and drawbacks, since we don't have quite a traditional metal album here (okay, despite increasingly dubious avantgarde acts popping out every day, making even avantgarde itself a tradition). The sound of Winterblut doesn't fit the atmosphere well, the guitars have a too lifeless molten fuzz. Jesus Lizard dealt with discordance and dirges, but hell, they handled it a lot better, even without being metal. Winterblut should have given up on this cotton guitar tone, cause it makes everything sound like a lazy-assed bourgeois dicking around with his cup of Ice Tea among resurrected chopsticks at an Alban Berg concert; and a clear, ferm tone would have been more effective. It doesn't get menacing, it doesn't get filthy or morose, it's just bored.
Things got shittier when I realised that the melodies are similar in patterns and notes. They are highly rhythmic, and they do not possess a bit of the inventivity that was the godfather of that genre called "jazz". For gumheaded avant-jazz, I suggest one also checks out Kayo Dot... However, the bass player did his job pretty well. Don''t expect Bill Laswell on this album, though.
The drum patterns (ahm!) are mostly one mid-paced groovy-as-shit pattern, with several interesting variations, like the one on Qualenduster. They are highly rhythmic too, a thing that makes the so-called "jazz" thing too bland for someone expecting more improvisation skill.
The vocals were the last nail in the coffin, since the vocalist had a drink with the guy from Urfaust and ripped (or tried to rip) him off. This is a recitative type of moaning, joyously irritating, but the shrieking moments are good, reminding of Lugubrum a bit.
This band got with one foot in a turd and the other in another turd: they simply couldn't be able to craft neither a jazzy style, nor a furious, black metal one. Get it for the lyrics, or get it for the moans that get your girlfriend lubed. Nothing else is that relevant.

an avant-garde gem - 94%

harvestman, January 31st, 2007

Usually I can tell from the cover whether I will like the music on the album inside-- this is one time when I was proven wrong. When I first saw this, I had my doubts, but went ahead and bought it, for some reason that I've since forgotten. The cover is of the most extreme low-budget black metal variety, with absolutely no concessions made to any kind of accessibility. Everything is blurry and deliberately unreadable. And then I listened to it a few times, and was somewhat impressed, but not enough to bother listening to it again. It languished in the nether reaches of my collection for a few years. I remember thinking that it seemed too much like a bunch of riffs strung together without too much song structure. And the vocals bothered me. A little while ago, though, II gave it another spin-- I had been listening to a lot of Ved Buens Ende and Deathspell Omega, and was searching for another fix of avant-garde blackness-- and something clicked. It has since become one of my favorite albums. It even beats Ved Buens Ende, one of my favorite bands, in some ways. Most of the chords used on here have a jazzy sound to them-- there is rarely a moment on here that isn't downright weird. Very progressive, in the true sense of pushing the limits of the genre. And also avant-garde in the best sense, without resorting to diverse instrumentation, but using the usual instruments in unexpected ways. I now like the vocals, too, which fall somewhere between a moan and a scream, very unique. The music has a very creepy otherwordly atmosphere, too, that somehow manages to be scarier than a lot of the more brutal black metal bands. It stays within the confines of black metal, while doing something very new. Great, great stuff.