Weltenbrand - _The End of the Wizard_
(Napalm Records, 2006)
by: Jeremy Ulrey (8 out of 10)
Liechtenstein in the house y'all! Darkwave to the core, Weltenbrand tweak the typical fantasy lyrical obsessions and emote instead on myths originating from their homeland. Wait. How extensive a homegrown mythology can a country the size of Liechtenstein actually have, anyway? No matter. We'll assume they're using more of a regional barometer and leave it at that.

Despite a disarming array of musical components that might possess a broad appeal, Weltenbrand are decidedly -not- out for that accidental hit single, a la many darkwave and (especially) goth metal bands who seem to be chasing that shadow of an increasingly fading mainstream powerhouse, Evanescence (admit it: Lacuna Coil. "Enjoy the Silence". You were pissed). The male vocalist, Ritchie Wenaweser, is unfortunately one dimensional in his deep sub-bass monotone, but the overall band interplay makes up for the disparity, which is truthfully only notable in the aggregate over the course of several songs.

Weltenbrand is a collection of artists who all get their time in the sun to some extent or other. The keyboards of Oliver Falk are obviously going to get a workout when this genre is up for consideration, but perhaps even more impressive is Mario Jahnke's bombastic, Dead Can Dance-influenced drumming, which can run the gamut between providing standard, unobtrusive backing to mixing it up between tribal exercises and martial, early industrial experimentation. Less frequently in the spotlight but equally impressive are the bass stylings of Christian Sele (title track, "Ghosts of New Year's Eve") and Daniela Nipp's violin supplementation ("Gipsy Magic"). Tight, progressive, on the right songwriting roadmap, Weltenbrand position themselves as a major force in the darkwave genre.

Contact: http://www.weltenbrand.li

(article published 8/3/2007)

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