VARGHKOGHARGASMAL - Drowned in lakes

  Varghkoghargasmal.
When we first discovered this German one man band, it was via a
cassette, with a black and white photocopied cover, a washed out image
of some wintry forest landscape, accompanied by the legend 'wooden
metal'. Needless to say we were totally intrigued, only to discover,
that there wasn¹t anything really that metal about it, or wooden even.
Not sure if 'wooden' referred to the trees, or to acoustic guitars, but
none of that mattered once we head the music inside. A twisted
confusional mix of slowed down Dick Dale style surf riffage, stumbling
drums, haunting melodies, warbly organs, all wrapped around a simple
motorik almost krautrock groove. We had no idea what to call it, or
really even what to think, other than being totally smitten, transfixed
and ensorcelled. Definitely ensorcelled.

    So
here we have the brand new album from Avenger, the man solely
responsible for Varghkoghargasmal, and if anything, it¹s even more
haunting and mysterious, more creepy and strange, and somehow way more
beautiful.

    It's
a difficult sound to describe, the guitars are clean, but are often
still playing in a black metal style, frantic riffing or rapid picking,
but just as often the guitars are spidery and minor key, unfurling
lugubrious tendrils of creepy twang, or reverbed shimmer. The vocals are
minimal, a hushed whisper here and there, a Viking style chant during
one song, but it¹s mostly left to the music, which is incredibly
evocative, it¹s like some sort of acoustic black metal, mixed with
slowed down surf rock, dark languorous krautrock, and a distinct
Morricone vibe as well. And then there are the drums, which by design or
by happenstance, are a definite sonic focal point, as they are WAY up
in the mix, and they are all over the place, the fills are chaotic, the
rhythms stumble and stutter, but in their imperfections lie a truly
unique sort of emotion and feeling not found in most music. The drums
anchor everything, locking into foresty krautrock grooves, sputtering
into dense little tumbling squalls, the prefect framework for Avenger's
rickety moonlit jams.

    Most
of the songs creep and crawl, sometimes behind a curtain of rainfall,
the sound of the forest spirits, flickering firelight, fireflies
lighting up the canopy overhead, pianos pick out mournful melodies, the
drums, lurching along, a perfectly imperfect accompaniment, organs
wheeze, synths whir, steel strings twang, the whole thing so impossibly
transcendent, effortlessly evoking ancient atmospheres and deep
emotions. When the band lock into a more rocking groove, and the rhythm
builds into something propulsive, the guitars stretch out into long
streaks of buzzing melodies, the organ plays along like some old time
music box, and the sound transforms before your ears and transports you
to some truly mysterious otherworld.

    There
are some black metal references for sure, mostly the ambient bits of
Burzum, and some of the riffing recalls suicidal black metal, albeit
played with no distortion and more melancholy really than miserable,
some of the more frenzied parts even sound like Iron Maiden played on
acoustic guitars, and sometimes the guitars manage to sound like banjos,
but still the creepiest and prettiest moments occur when the sound
winds down into something much more minimal and muted, letting the
keyboards weave fluttery melodies, over whirring drones and spare guitar
melodies, only occasionally flecked with little flurries of haphazard
drumming.

    Utterly
unlike anything else you will ever hear! Hauntingly beautiful,
beautifully damaged and so totally essential listening for folks into
fucked up black metal, and freaked out blackened krautfolk and of course
WOODEN METAL.

Catalog: 
Price: 9.99€


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