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Lichtblick > Abkehr > Reviews > Edmund Sackbauer
Lichtblick - Abkehr

Lichtblick - Abkehr - 89%

Edmund Sackbauer, July 21st, 2023
Written based on this version: 2022, CD, Immortal Frost Productions (Limited edition)

I reviewed the debut full length “Phrenesis” by my fellow countrymen Lichtblick a while ago and I was astonished by the level of professionalism and polish they put into their first effort. The hard work has been rewarded with a deal at the respected Belgium based label Immortal Frost Productions. This collaboration led to the release of album number two titled “Abkehr” in 2022. Clocking in at 42 minutes this is another emotive and breathtaking musical journey. Lichtblick more or less continue where they left off with their first record, delivering a strong genre piece with tons of atmosphere and depressive moods while avoiding to come across as annoying and exhausting as some other bands playing a similar style of black metal.

Especially the independent vocals come across very emotionally intense with a portion of reverb and long-drawn, plaintive screams. The title "Mental Breakdown" reflects the lyrics best. A discreetly used guitar accompanies singer A. during his nervous breakdown through the good five minutes of playing time, and more is not needed for the implementation. Because the resulting mood describes the emotional state of the musicians aptly and impressively. Things then get really going in the remaining titles. The opener "Geäst" shows skillfully with mood changes, how Lichtblick sound anno 2022. As soon as the drums start, the sound is driven forward by the rhythms. In other passages the vocals take the lead and the question arises what the lyrics are actually about. But the band keeps a low profile, does not reveal the content of the lyrics, but leaves the listener the freedom to let his own interpretation flow in.

The first single "I Feel Nothing" is about the emptiness that can crush you from the inside. Atmospheric black metal and post elements are skillfully implemented to express these kind of feelings. Sometimes you lose yourself in a big black hole, which is underlined by driving blast beats, acting as counterpart to the fragile harmonies. Then you try to gasp for air in quieter passages, before vocals and music kick in and you are inevitably pulled into the oppressive void. The second single "Geister" begins with stomping drums and turns out to be an enormously black metal track, quite straight-forward most of the time, but especially the quiet part in the middle, followed by a blast thunderstorm shows in which genre the band finds itself at home.

"Under The Ice" is the longest track at a good nine minutes. It begins on an extremely melancholic note and resounds with a mournful glow. This depressive touch remains the essence of the song, fits into the sound picture of the music like a fist on the eye. Even purposefully used blast beat attacks don't change anything about this fact.” Amaurosis" starts very restrained, begins with a guitar and wild screaming in the background, before the rest of the musicians enter at a later stage. Held in midtempo and with full musical force, the style is celebrated, for which the four gentlemen are known. Atmospheric black metal with oppressive mood is what these guys deliver in outstanding fashion. Add a clear and transparent production and you got another winner.