Review Summary: Post-black metal from Austria with no clean vocals.2 of 2 thought this review was well written
Post-Black Metal is usually an interesting commodity. A blend of terrifying shrieks, post-rock styled guitar riffs with the upbeat tremolo of standard black metal requirements, as well as a melancholic classical approach towards any acoustic section, with musical versatility presented in other instruments such as bass and drums. Or at least that’s what’s being presented on Rückzug in die Innerlichkeit
. And for a debut EP from a country who isn’t known for having a whole lot of awesome metal bands, this really hits the bull’s-eye within the black metal genre.
First thing is first. Ellende is hailing from the Germanic country of Austria.There music also isn't stereotypical black metal from Norway that centers on nihilism, but instead they focus on nature, melancholy, and the free will of an individual. Even though their music is very similar to Agalloch or even Alcest for that matter; they do somehow manage to maintain a consistent approach within their atmosphere and music which makes the twenty-seven minute listen original in some sort of sense. I mean, “It’s not like these guys are Falloch, or ripoff,” is what I’m trying to say.
From the very start of the EP, we hear an amazing melodic acoustic arpeggio progression on “Rückzug in die Innerlichkeit”. This soon takes a turn for its money blasting out with a pretty sick drum pattern, and an audible bass, which itself is pretty rare to find in black metal. After that neo-folk arrangement it soon shows its true colors and crushes your face with black metal screams that vaguely reminds me of Neige from Alcest. With a stellar opening of typical black metal blended in with post-rock and neo-folk, we see an album that either shows us that’s there’s more than meets the eye or Ellende is just an average post-black metal band.
Once “Pfad der Endlichkeit” starts, the entire EP takes an unexpected turn. I was half-way expecting an intro that features in your face black metal or a neo-folk interlude. But instead we get a violin, whom throughout the song, takes on the lead of ambience and tone. By this blend of black metal and an orchestration addition, we see a euphemism of a glimpse of light within the dark. But the entire song is more than just that. It holds all sorts of characteristics that make this song filled with beauty and a complex art. Hell, even the unexpected plateau effect in the climax makes the song even more interesting. Unfortunately, the proceeding song can’t compete with its predecessor. The main let down of the song mainly has to deal with the extremely repetitive piano riff that can’t get annoying after a while. But it’s not as bad as one may think, considering the notes that are played on that repetitive piano riff are actually the only notes that can get the type of mood settled for the entire song’s driven atmosphere. But like I said, it can’t compete to its predecessor. While the last and final song entitled “Von Vergänglichkeit und Trost”, is an eight minute epic, which starts off as a standard black metal song, and then all of a sudden becomes neo-folk in the second half. This is what confuses me the most. Why is the last song one song, when it blatantly sounds like two song – one being a black metal metal song and the other being a neo-folk standard. Personally, for me at least, this is another opinionated dilemma that I faced when I first heard In Flames’ “Behind Space” – it started out as a metal song, then all of a sudden it turns into a classical instrumental. Why is it not two songs? But that’s beside the point; the very ending of the EP closes in the same respected manner that the EP started off as.
In conclusion, Rückzug in die Innerlichkeit
is a spectacular debut for an unknown black metal group that resides in a country that isn’t a metal powerhouse. With every instrument not showing dominance over one another, we see musical composure that isn’t selfish in the least bit. With that being said, the EP is an interesting record none-the-less. With high regards, I highly recommend the entire EP to any black metal fan.