Weather and the four seasons play a remarkable role when it comes to what I want to listen to. As the heat wave is plaguing Europe I find myself wanting to listen to something softer and happier music like R.E.M. or ZEN CAFÉ or something like ALCHEMIST and melodic Death Metal. When the fall arrives I'll take out my KATATONIA, RAPTURE and all that melancholic music… Wait, what's this got to do with WINTERBLUT? Nothing really, apart from the name that is. Well, perhaps if I'd listen to this during a cold, dark and snowy night I would really get into the world of this album…
Ok, so WINTERBLUT is the name and Black Metal is the game. As a side note I have to mention that if not for the internet I wouldn't have even made out the title of this CD and the song titles only because the lyrics are in the booklet. The band's logo isn't the most decipherable either. Alright, the music itself is somewhat odd for a Black Metal band. There are no blastbeats, the music rarely goes over the mid-pace and the sound is actually quite light, suitable for a Rock album rather than a Black Metal album. This is slow, but mostly without the heaviness. There are even some Progressive influences, the rhythm changes from time to time and above all the guitar plays some very fine riffs that at times make me think they wouldn't be all that far off were they on some Progressive Metal album. But if this is labeled as Black Metal then there should be something to justify that categorisation, right? Well yes there are. The vocals are purely BM screams and shrieks (conveniently in German too). The production is also true to Black Metal, which stands for quite bad quality.
Each song has something to offer, especially in the guitar section. However none really stick to my mind, so basically I'm going "Wow, that song had a great riff *song changes* Hey, nice riff here too" but then can't remember what the riff was actually like, just that it was quite nice. Rather frustrating. But even more frustrating is that I feel like I'm missing something here. I can't put my finger to it, perhaps it is the atmosphere this requires to fully open up to the listener.
"Qualenduster" is basically the only 'real' Black Metal song here. There's the blastbeats, that can hardly be heard, but still enough to make the song sound more powerful already. The song is also faster than its fellows but still it too can be considered slow when compared to most Black Metal bands.
In the end I have to admit I am quite baffled. I don't know what to think of this. That, my friends, is probably the most frustrating thing of all. As a pure Black Metal album this doesn't go far beyond decent at best but as music in general this is actually quite interesting. So the ball is in your court now, I'll give this one another listen when the first dark, snowy night comes my way…
Check-out tips: "Die Krücken, das Irrlicht", "Am 32. September", "Qualenduster" and " Der lange Weg und der kurze Traum". (Online September 1, 2003)