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Dont Get Me Started ! - 85%

dontcountonit, February 3rd, 2011

Bergthron is a progressive/avant-garde black metal group from Germany. Despite being around since the mid-90s and releasing five albums, before this one, little is actually known about this group. This new album is one of their shortest and expresses some of their most left-field ideas yet.

Having not been familiar with Bergthron before this album, this album provided an interesting gateway into their albums. There's a definite blackened thrash vibe on here, but there's a much more psychedelic and progressive/experimental touch as well that often twists these more straightforward sounds into more abstract forms. There are also more avant-garde touches of electronic flourishes throughout the disc that manage to move from atmospheric backgrounds to actual parts of a song.

I found that throughout this record, these progressive or avant-garde influences never overtook the more metal aspects of the group. If riffs were more twisted sounding, it still maintained a strong sense of black metal, or the other way around, if a section was pretty straightforward, there was a more odd sounding atmosphere backing it. This album has enough experimentation to keep a prog fan interested, but enough grit and aggression to allow a metal head to headbang to it, hear Harpune 2010 (Loki). It's certainly a blend that works well for this group and is unlike that of a lot of other bands.

Despite all the above being true, there is a very strong presence of melody coursing through this record, and band. No matter how aggressive the track is, there's always a riff to latch onto that will end up taking you into the song. Tracks like Weiße Bestie (Thökk) or Seepest (Naglfar) have a very solid black metal core, with plenty of experimentation, but the riffing is melodic and quite catchy, which is probably why these tracks seemed the most standout to me as gateways into this album.

Overall, this is a solid release that definitely makes me want to check out this band's older material. While I can't say this was as experimental as I would have wanted, it's still very interesting and a good listen. If you like black metal with a bit of experimentation, than you should really try and look into this album.

Highlights: 84°03'N 174°51'W (Asgard), Nordpolar° (Jormungand), Experiment Apokalypse (Ragnarök)

Originally written for:
http://dontcountonitreviews.blogspot.com

Bergthron - Expedition Autarktis - 93%

nilgoun, January 23rd, 2011

Bergthron changed their style quite often on their way from "Verborgen in den tiefen der Wälder" (Debut) to "Leben und Lebenswille" (last release before Exp. Autarktis) which scared off some fans at times. Particularly "Leben und Lebenswille" had this effect because of the extensive acoustic part, which might be the reason why they decided to become harder again. The title was chosen because it is their first selfreleased record.

Many fans of the last album will cringe while listening to the first song "Asymmetrisch", because the body of sound is quite thick and full of pressure. The solely growled vocals indicate as well that the calmer sounds you might have expected are gone. Every worry that there are not any clean vocals is baseless, since the first appearance of those is in the follow up track.

The whole album is kept in hightempo and although there are breaking-ups through the clean vocals there is still a lot pressure. The orchestration itself is more virtuoso than ever before, the drums are more accentuated and the guitars are more challenged and busy than ever and so the original rhythmic riffs are reduced to a minimum.

The transitions between the tracks are kept fluently and that is really beneficial in terms of atmosphere. There are a lot of ambient sounds, like in the intro of "Seepest (Naglfar)", for instance water noises and gnashing ship sounds. But this is not the only thing that is new, the vocals are reverberating at times and there is a use of synthesizers in the last part of the song, which leads to its end.

One of my favorites is the outro "Autarktis (Bergthron)" with its spoken vocals, the beautiful drumlines, the powerful bass and of course the synthesizers which are creating are thick, catchy atmosphere.

Conclusion:

Fans of "Leben und Lebenswille" might have some trouble to accustom with the album, since the tracks are more compact and more aggressive than ever before. Although you need to hear the whole record a few times to really acclimate, it is really worth this effort. The greatest point of criticism is the playing time, which is really short with its 35:07 minutes. When we counterbalance the good things with the negative ones, like the playing time, some too compact, aggressive songwriting (what clearly depends on the point of view) and therefore the lack of finesse, we still have a very good rating. If you think you might like the album visit the myspacesite and listen to the two tracks that are there and, if you like them too, buy the record, so that the expedition will not end as a fail!
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Originally published by me on http://threnodies.com