Wedard - _Eiskrieg_
(Sabbathid Records, 2007)
by: S. Martin (5 out of 10)
To many inexperienced listeners, Wedard might come across as the be-all, end-all of depressive black metal -- the epitome of the genre. Purveying some of the unknown, untalked about, taboo emotions; suicide, depression and thereof. However, in reality this is nothing but another modern 'depressive' black metal act, feeding off of the free advertisement thanks to MySpace and the Internet respectively -- but people must come to realize that there is absolutely nothing new here, this has all been done before, on a much higher standard.

The first thing you'll realize, and I mean the very first thing, is the reverb. Before the music even begins, you can hear the reverb in the studio (bedroom?). The messy atmosphere of the production is also clear. When the music begins we're introduced to Wedard's sound, which is more or less boring DSBM riffs, comprised of improvised, sub-par melodies throughout the entirety of this release. Very few of the melodies are actually enjoyable, failing to play in conjunction with the rhythm guitar, playing completely out of place, time and tune. I'm not saying all black metal should confide within the laws of music and chord progressions; but do not stray too far from the logic, otherwise it will -- as this release proves -- sound like untuned crap.

The fact that this score isn't terribly bad would suggest that there's a few positive qualities within. One of which is the drums. Now, I'm not sure if they're programmed or what -- I suspect from the sound, the complexity (programming drums is a nightmare) and rhythm that they're authentic. I love the upbeat tempos and beats, especially in "Der Weg in das Reich der Kälte". I actually enjoy that song for most parts, but the abrupt interlude of clean guitar is terrible. Unsure if Sternenfrost did in fact mean to do this, there's many dead notes and parts where it just falls to pieces... I have no clues as to why this interlude is there, essentially all it's doing is breaking up one long (semi-)enjoyable song into two chunks held together by an unrelated pause.

Another aspect of _Eiskrieg_ that's enjoyable, though to a lesser extent than the drums, is the vocals. There's times where they work and times that they need work, and when they work they create a fantastic atmosphere of an almost claustrophobic sensation. Perhaps this is my knowledge interfering, but they also come across as very nature-inspired, almost 'free' type of feeling, like watching a bird fly over the trees. Though, at times, they become very weak and heartless, it's clear that Sternenfrost basically could not be fucked doing the vocals, or perhaps it was nighttime, and he didn't want to wake up his parents due to fear of embarrassment? Overall, his shrieks give the album the much-needed depth it craves, though subtracting much of its 'depressive' factor and replacing it with a free, happy atmosphere as mentioned.

In sum, the musicianship and production need much attention, and the added sounds, interludes and effects really need to be brought down to an absolute minimum. If you're looking to get into DSBM, I guess you could give this a shot -- it's not a 'bad' album, by any means, it's just not original, creative and it's all been done at some time or another.


(article published 8/9/2009)

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