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Mighty slab of raw black metal. - 80%

beletty, May 25th, 2007

It's pretty hard to review the album of a band that has never been reviewed before, especially when the band is obscure, because your impression, if not subjective and partial, may mislead the readers who were thinking of trying the artist.

Verdunkeln is a side project of the members from Graupel, a well-established act in the German underground scene. The music played here is, first of all, dark. Its most obvious feature is the bad production. The instruments sound like they've been stuffed with pillows. Guitar notes often sound played at bass level and because of the aforementioned production are thicker and heavier than the colder tremolo picks for which the genre is more known for. This effect strengthens the album's melodic line as best heard in the seventh track, "Einst War Es Mal". Ratatyske pulls out a good performance on vocals, using the classic shrieks and yells that are thickened by the unpolished sound. The guy who handles the bass here (Gnarl, I suppose) might as well be playing a single-stringed one, because it only lays the basis for the music with any melodical variation succumbing to the thick wall of sound. I don't know too much about drumming, so I'll resume by saying it follows the tempo, intense when the rhythm demands or lesser so when things calm down a bit. There are sometimes large gaps between the beats giving the guitar riff a barren sound and adding a dramatic tone to the album.

Overall, it's a good release, never surpassing the status of side-project. It's a close cousin to Filosofem so fans of mid-era Burzum may want to check this out. For fans of raw black metal; it's something they direly need to hear.