Review: Verlassen – Demo (2015)

Posted: May 16, 2015 in Band of the Day, Demo Review, Reviews
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Demo (Verlassen)

Verlassen is a solo project put together by Jan Lippert, a guitarist from German black metallers Agonie, whose releases I’ve reviewed here, and here, and thoroughly enjoyed. It’s more on the depressive black metal scale than Agonie’s raw assault, and is infused with a wistful melancholy from the offset.

‘Verlassen – Sicht Auf Den Schmerz’ begins with mournful acoustics, before the buzzing death rattle of proper black metal appears. A churning, hypnotic flight over darkened mountains is the style, soaring melody meeting harsh metal. ‘Hoffnungslosigkeit’ was the track that started the whole project off, and builds a tribal drumbeat with a wavering tremolo riff that scythes through you like the path through a forest. The music is definitely depressive/suicidal black metal; you can feel the black cloud weighing down on your shoulders. It feels like a hopeless trail through a frozen waste, icy cold and endless.

Strange as it seems, I find this kinda music uplifting in parts. It reminds me of that feeling when you reach a fell top in winter. There’s a grandeur and a melancholy here that suits that kind of place. It’s always going to sound cliche to say that atmospheric black metal brings to mind cold and snowy landscapes but there’s a reason for that: it’s true. ‘Weg in Die Freiheit’ is a mid paced rasping hymn of sadness and pain, that morphs into an almost dark ambient murmur of sound.

Verlassen’s demo is a great piece of atmospheric black metal that mixes depressive elements with traditional black metal and ambient to create something memorable and well written. Hope there’s more in the pipeline!


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