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For their second full-length, Germans Wolfsschrei conjure up a suitably hostile environment of black violence with some glorious riffing and a cold but fulfilling tone. These are no newcomers to the scene, they've been in many other bands like Odal, Seelengrief, and Erhabenheit.
The title track begins with some bass, then the bombast of grinding black guitars and the snarling pitch of Taaken. What I find very satisfying about this band is the fact that almost all the songs have a very glorious, melodic riff in there. With "Demons of My Inner Self" it comes about half way into the track. "Of Hate and Man" is an excellent song, one of the best here, and it doesn't take long before they unleash this amazing, atmospheric riff (it's the second in the song). The rest of the tracks are likewise thrilling, "Penetration of Your Soul" rocks hard from the starting gate. "Your Painful Fate" is lush, driving and beautiful. "Where Dead Bodies Lay" is grim yet glorious.
Wolfsschrei prove here they have what it takes to join the upper crust of German black metal scene. I enjoyed just about every track on this effort. Groundbreaking they are not, but they deliver a quality not so common for this type of raw and straightforward black metal. The songs are more than capable of conveying cold emotions, the futility of hope in a world of despair, the dark comfort of diabolical hatred. It's all here. If you like true black metal, you will lap this up like an open sore on a Christian whore.
I can’t say I’ve heard Wolfsschrei before, but I’ve read their name a few times, probably since the two lads are also involved in tons of other German underground black metal acts (Barastir, Odal, Erhabenheit, Aaskereia etc). So I was certainly curious to see what this was all about. And with an intro building up expectations of misanthropy and anguish I was set for a magnificent experience… Unfortunately the sound quality doesn’t deliver. As soon as the first real riff sets in you’re overwhelmed with just how thin the sound is, it lacks any and all impact. That’s highly unfortunate, ‘cause it’ll probably deter people from really getting into the album.
And if you don’t give "Demons of my inner self" a real chance you’ll miss out on some marvelous riffing. Simply due to the semi-melodic passages in "Of hate and man" it qualifies as my favourite track on here. Well-paced blasting as well as harsh, raspy screams accompanies the riffage, and it kicks ass. The blasting is intertwined with slower sections, where the riffing can really excel. But speaking of the vocals I have to say it gives it all a very rough touch with its harsh-as-hell background gurgle, and it might even come off as ‘raw black metal’. But once again that’s just the sound issue messing with you. Looking past the awful sound you’ll find it’s semi-melodic black metal. I’m impressed at how Wolfsschrei manage to mix melody, old school and roughness. It reminds me a whole lot of the old Swedish act Zavorash, with just a little less misanthropy. Or why not even go for Blodsrit as a comparison.
The record’s only 41 minutes long, but it still feels a bit too long. I’m having a hard time focusing throughout the entire album. And once again I have to blame the production. The guitars sound thin; you can’t even hear the bass and the drums sound like they were across the room from the mics. It’s really too damn bad, ‘cause it almost ruins an otherwise terrific album.
Originally written for http://www.mylastchapter.net