Title: Einsamkeit [Instrumental EP]
Release Date: 13 July 2020
Format Reviewed: Digital Promo
After just a few months since their last release (the high quality “Das Verderben”EP), German Atmospheric Black Metal “band” Schattenfall return with another EP. This time going fully instrumental. I write “band” in inverted commas because as well as having shed vocalist Ragnar for this release it appears that guitarist/bassist Vladimir Bauer is handling the drums too, as minus a couple of guest guitar credits he is credited with all instrumentation. What this means for the future of the band as a whole I don’t know, but the aptly titled “Einsamkeit” (meaning “loneliness”) while perhaps lacking a little something of the band’s previous EP and last year’s “Melancholie des Seins” album, is still a worthy addition to the Schattenfall catalogue.
Consisting of an intro and “Einsamkeit IV, V, VI, VII” (I don’t know why it starts at IV) the Black Metal aspects of the music are reigned in. So while you’ll hear some dissonant guitars on “Einsamkeit V” and double bass pedalling passages on “Einsamkeit VI” that might bring to mind the more abrasive side of the genre, more often than not this is Schattenfall at their/his most atmospheric.
Eerie synths play a prominent role throughout the EP and add a lot to the mood, which is dark, mysterious and very gothic. While the maniacal screaming delivery of Ragnar and the pummelling drums of Evgen Karamushko brought a lot of power to the last EP this more low-key and at times cinematic side of the band still holds the interest. “Einsamkeit V” might be my favourite part of the EP with piano adding welcome textures. At times it’s even kind of dreamy. The prominent bass has a satisfyingly rich sound and some glistening guitars also help to build a beguiling atmosphere.
While there are clear breaks between tracks you can certainly appreciate this as a continual, flowing piece of music. There are some interesting shifts and changes in arrangements throughout, like the faint screams and neat drum fills in “Einsamkeit V”, a bass breakdown in “Einsamkeit VI”, and an unexpected guitar solo in “Einsamkeit VII”. I do hope that there will be another full “band” release for us to look forward to in the future, but for now “Einsamkeit” is definitely worthy of your time if you’re a fan of the band, and for those who aren’t such fans of the more aggressive and abrasive aspects of Black Metal you may also appreciate something more atmospheric and gothic that will sooth you with its dark tones rather than tearing at your flesh. 7/10 Tom Boatman
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