Review Summary: Maybe sometimes death can be beautiful
It was more than ten years ago when I first became acquainted with Angizia. Back then, their fragile neoclassical melodies, Cedric Muller's dancing fingers on the piano, the operatic vocals combined somewhat clumsily, as they sound in hindsight, with some black metal vocals and electric guitars, had impressed me.
In their second album, those elements were more succesfully absorbed into the music. But, I couldn't help feeling that something was missing. So, maybe because my enthusiasm started wearing out, maybe because their albums were not that easy to find (and shopping οn the internet was totally unknown to me back then), I started forgetting about Angizia.
And the years passed.
One day, digging into my past, I remembered about Die Kemenaten Scharlachrotter Lichter. And, surprise, the magic was still there. Maybe a little worn out, maybe not so perfect as it used to be, but still there. So I decided to look around the internet. The band was still there. I visited their website. The intro grabbed me by the balls. An old, silent-film like slide of macabre gravures, a terrifying violin melody. The words "Er glaubte, dass er tot war. Er hoffte, das er tot war". They had me. I put 20 euros in an envelope (I had no credit card at that time) and bought the cd.
This was surely NOT the Angizia I once knew. The classical music was gone, the operatic style, the enchanting piano, the black metal elements... all gone. But was that really a bad thing?
Hell no. Because what had takeν over its place was even better. It was perfect. It was something unlike anything I had ever heard before. Angizia presented me a real Totentanz, a macabre cabaret of the dancing dead.
You might need a while to get used to Michael Haas's new voice. It's obviously anything but beautiful. But its point is not to sound beautiful. He sounds like a grotesque clown, a purely theatrical performace that intensifies the album's atmosphere. Electric guitars, drums, violins, accordion, piano, and vast amount of other instruments, guest vocalists accompanying Haas and Irene Denner (yes, she's still there), all perfectly orchestrated to produce one of the most amazing musical pieces ever heard. An impressive seventy minutes long, the album manages never to get boring.
If there is any kind of beauty in death, you will surely find it here. Yes, this trully sounds like nothing you have ever listened to. And all packed in Gabrielle Bock's amazing artwork.