Friday, April 15, 2016

REVIEW - DIE ENTWEIHUNG - THE CAGE - CD

DIE ENTWEIHUNG - THE CAGE - CD
ZOMBIE RECORDS/ISRAHELL DIVISION/ZRID CD02/ZR CD010
RAW/MELODIC BLACK METAL/DOOM METAL/BLACKENED THRASH
COMES IN A JEWEL CASE WITH FOLD OUT BOOKLET
INCLUDING LYRICS.
DIE ENTWEIHUNG IS:
H. ENTWEIHERR


I.) TRAIN TO NOWHERE / II.) THE CAGE / III.) WERE'S THAT LIFE? /
IV.) WORLD RESURRECTION'S SYMPHONY / V.) MARTYRS / VI.) TIME /
VII.) LUGBURZ (SUMMONING COVER) (BONUS TRACK):
The Cage is the sixth album from the one man Metal project DIE ENTWEIHUNG
and apparently the last of his albums to focus on a primarily Black
Metal styled sound. Sole member H. Entweiherr went on to create music
under more of a Dark Metal/Doom Metal banner after this record and even
composed/included dark, brooding and mournfully moody Neo-Classical arrangements
in much of his work. (Some of which is present on this release as well.) This is
a reissue of The Cage and includes a cover of the classic SUMMONING song "Lugburz."
This project is somewhat of an enigma as all of the information available points 
towards this being an Israel based project, However the lyrics are in Russian.
(English translations are included in the insert.) The opener,"Train To Nowhere" 
takes us into a melodic medieval string arrangement with a hint of sorrow that is
very reminiscent of the instrumentals on the early BURZUM records. Rhythm and lead
guitars soon follow along with a healthy bass guitar groove and cold/inhuman programmed
drums. There are some pretty cool pipe organ type keyboards that give this a bit of an
early 90's secondwave Black Metal atmosphere. Similar to GEHENNA at times. Guitar solos
are also included to really amp up the oldschool appeal. There are many breaks and changes
to keep things interesting that also give this a 1980's Thrash edge. Overall it's a pretty
solid intro track. The production is somewhat gritty and lo-fi which I prefer. When Metal
sounds to clean it tends to lose it's fury in my opinion. "The Cage" opens with a sorrowful,
Yet menacing twin guitar segment and quickly heads into a mid-paced Black Metal stomp. The
vocals are a mass of semi distorted/treated rasps and grunts that appear to be layered as
there is a "daemonic" or unearthly quality to them. The main melody throughout the song is
strong and catchy but I wish the guitars had a bit more power to them in terms of tone. The
scales/harmonies used come across like a Blackened rendition of the classic IRON MAIDEN style
with a 90's UK Doom Metal tone emanating from them. Fans of early SATYRICON, GRAVELAND, and other's from the classic camp will surely find something they like. The formula laid out be
artists like DARKTHRONE, EMPEROR and ENSLAVED is present here although DIE ENTWEIHUNG tends to stay around the epic/bombastic side of things. At times this could be classified as Progressive Metal. "Where's That Life" builds on deep bass lines and tremolo picking. Semi-harmonic but a little moodier than the previous tracks. Next it kicks into a slow Death/Doom crawl with soaring lead melodies and heavy rhythm guitars. A low/high vocal combo enhances the style which is similar to early MY DYING BRIDE, PARADISE LOST, THE GATHERING, ANATHEMA, Etc. Elements of Funeral Doom are also included which
make for a great atmosphere. To be honest I haven't heard many albums pull off these styles other than the original innovators, So DIE ENTWEIHUNG did a decent job of carrying on the tradition...Especially being that this is a one man project. In terms of composition this is excellent stuff. Both skill and technicality show off here. The solo work is pretty damn solid too. "World  Resurrection's Symphony" has a bit of a Folk/Viking/Medieval Metal flair to it. The vocals seem kind of overpowering and rushed at times and there are moments that can feel slightly sloppy, But not really enough to make the song suffer too great of a loss. Not my favorite track on the album, But I've definitely heard much worse. There is a simple power chord riff featured that has a cool second wave vibe to it and the distortion is thick and crunchy giving this a nice chunky tone. Once again the solos scream and keep that killer classic Metal style going. More melodic moments are similar to early TIAMAT and KATATONIA, So again the best traditions of Heavy Metal are very much alive in DIE ENTWEIHUNG. Drum fills take us into an early GORGOROTH style groove to finish things off strong. "Martyrs" is another instrumental/interlude that has some cool thrashy moments. I wouldn't call any of this original but the riffs and song writing are all quite excellent. DIE ENTWEIHUNG does shine strongly when it comes to the flow of arrangements, Particularly how well timed and placed the guitar/keyboard segments are and how well they synch up with one another. Synth choirs/flutes are added to enhance the epic/warrior feel of the piece and the guitar solos are great here too. Not too bad. "Time" is the last proper album track and opens on a melancholic piano melody joined by cymbals and a heavy kick drum throb. Spoken vocals bring that gloomy 90's Doom sound back and add a sense of loss, Misery and personal torment. When the rhythm guitars come in it's powerful stuff. Emotive with a nostalgic quality. Symphonic keys, Dark riffs and blackened rasps really make this a badass track. My personal favorite on the album. The lead guitars bring in more of a Funeral Doom sound. This is a track that just gets better as it goes on. Piano/drum interludes send a chill into the air and the following crazed rasps are chilling. Chamber Music elements via synth strings/violins are added as well to enhance the gloom. After a heavy segment we go into a palm muted chug against a backdrop of piano that reminds me of early THEATER OF TRAGEDY. Blast beats and screaming melodies give this one a strong finish. The cover of SUMMONING's "Lugburz" included as a bonus track stays close to the original. Personally, I always prefer covers that stray from the path and offer more of an original take but this is a good rendition regardless. It's well played and sounds like the song it's supposed to be so I guess there isn't anything to complain about. The addition of thunderclaps and heavy storm samples is cool. All in all it's a good version.

OLDSCHOOL BLACK AND DOOM METAL WORSHIP WITH A THRASHY EDGE AT TIMES.
SUPPORT THE UNDERGROUND AND INDEPENDENT LABELS AND CHECK IT OUT:

7/10
-ABATTOIR-

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