Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Dancing With Death - 76%

TheStormIRide, January 7th, 2016

Totentanz compiles material from Blackdeath’s 2004 split with Mortifera (Totentanz I) and 2005′s split with Leviathan (Totentanz II). According the band, the tracks on both splits were written during and just after the recording of 2004′s Satan macht frei. If you’ve followed Blackdeath’s career at all, these track fit quite nicely alongside that album. While the tracks presented here still closely follow Blackdeath’s early adherence to primitive Darkthrone worship, it also shows the primordial spark of the more cerebral, off-kilter approach that their later material would move towards.

Blackdeath has really come a long way from their humble beginnings and Totentanz is a fine stop along the way. The tracks on this compilation have been remastered and the order has been shifted around, which the band claims gives the release more continuity. Despite the fine remastering job which lifts some of the fuzz from the original recordings, the music still comes across as destructive and primal as it did with the songs were first released.

Darkthrone worship is the key element here, with fast paced tremolo riffing that creates that classic, oft-maligned buzz saw sound while the programmed drums blast along with no abandon. Despite the adherence to second wave worship and the raw, primal tone, Blackdeath’s songwriting at this point showed a bunch of serpentine twisting, often swerving towards unexpected moments of depraved chord progressions. The vocals are twisted, which in the past have drawn a lot of criticism from not being saturated in effects, but the gargling snarled delivery works quite well for the rabid and unyielding sound the band brings.

This is a fine opportunity for fans of the band to dig into some tracks they may have missed, as both original split albums have been long sold out. It’s not quite as frenetic and intriguing as their current material, but it’s a solid chunk of nostalgia which shows their early second wave worshiping beginning to morph into one of Russia’s most dynamic black metal acts.

Written for The Metal Observer.