Neun Welten
The Sea I'm Diving In


4.0
excellent

Review

by Atari STAFF
July 30th, 2017 | 36 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Beauty within the dark blue void

What a gorgeous isolation this is… I think I’ll stay here for a while…

Like a slow descent through an abyss, Neun Welten’s latest effort is shrouded in mystery and darkness. Given the eight-year gap since Destrunken, it’s not surprising the German dark folk group have crafted a very different kind of monster this time around. The Sea I’m Diving In feels much more theatrical than their past works; it’s what I’d imagine an album would sound like if Finland’s Tenhi collaborated with Ulver for a concept album born from the depths of the ocean. In other words: it’s vast, elegantly experimental, and cool as hell.

Recorded by film composer Matthias Raue, The Sea I’m Diving In takes Neun Welten’s trademark sound and adds elements of post-rock with a focus on cinematic storytelling; the result is the band’s most unexpected, abstract record to date. Unlike past efforts, it contains English vocals, but they carry the same sense of yearning and despair as they did before. However, there are also ominous, near-indecipherable lyrics and more than enough sonic riddles to keep the listener guessing throughout the gloomy journey. It’s this constant sense of exploration that gives The Sea I’m Diving In such a magnetic pull – always urging the listener to press on through the unknown.

The album’s first real treasure is “The Dying Swan”, a dark ambient track with acoustic guitars and warm synths that share some similar traits with Agalloch’s Ashes Against the Grain. In between each section of chanty vocals and poignant strings are waves of euphoric ambience that hit with the weight of a riptide. Speaking of strings and such, the classical touches throughout this bad boy are a real treat to the ears. With the additional talents of violinist Aline Deinert of Empyrium and Niko Knappe of Dark Suns, the album gets that special, added spark. “Cursed” is a fine example of this: a minimalistic concoction of delicate pianos, weeping violins, and – of course – that lovely acoustic guitar. However, nothing can touch “Lorn”, a track that constantly builds towards something completely majestic – and man, does it reach some towering heights. Though the song starts out slow-paced, you’ll soon be completely overcome by its compelling drumming and a widely-encompassing atmosphere that’s not unlike a well-done black metal track.

For an album centered around a sense of desolation in an immense sea, there’s an awful lot of beauty to be discovered within its domain. The more magical moments are nice little soundscapes that wash away all your daily pains and anxieties; standout track “Lorn” does so with its carefully-picked guitars and haunting synths, while “Earth Vein” uses a more classical, operatic approach involving rather enticing female vocals. Whichever method Neun Welten choose to run with, each track carries a vast, brooding undertow – always seeming to replicate the ocean’s endless reaches. For fans of dark folk, post-rock, or even film scores, Neun Welten’s enthralling return has enough mystery and pizazz to keep you coming back for more. And the more you listen to it, the more The Sea I'm Diving In reveals the story of someone trapped in the confines of an endless ocean. The scenery is eerily murky, but -- like many effective albums of this nature -- there’s an undeniable beauty behind each note of melancholy. Whether you come up for air, or you allow yourself to become hopelessly lost beneath the blackened waves, is entirely up to you.

I’m still here… I could get used to this darkness…



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user ratings (16)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Staff Reviewer
July 30th 2017


22536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cheesy ocean metaphors? check

shameless Ulver and Agalloch name drops? check



seriously though, trying to get back in the swing of things... so let me know how this reads! I believe I got the inspiration for the first and last lines from something in a recent Conmaniac and/or LandDiving review - so thanks to you lovely bastards as well.



full album

https://neun-welten.bandcamp.com/album/the-sea-im-diving

lorn

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6QfVtcc1Zw

Gyromania
July 31st 2017


22707 Comments


i love that you referenced tenhi. little known band but they're fucking awesome!

mindpos

Gyromania
July 31st 2017


22707 Comments


saivo is such a superb album.

holy shit... your avatar is of one of their comps and i'm just now realizing this haha. that's awesome. haven't heard that compilation before so i'm not surprised i didn't recognize it

Atari
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2017


22536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha...hell yeah Gyro, I love Tenhi! Agreed that Saivo is great and I think that's actually one of their most underrated albums. I fell in love with the artwork for that comp instantly too. Glad to hear you're a fan :]



I could definitely see u digging this one too. It's minimalistic and dark with a similar vibe as Tenhi





Elynna
July 31st 2017


16 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This might be their best album yet, loving it so far. Thanks for the reminder they released a new one with this amazing review.

Digging: Solefald - The Linear Scaffold

Elynna
July 31st 2017


16 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The bonus tracks are beautiful as well

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
July 31st 2017


18357 Comments


"near-indecipherable lyrics and more than enough sonic riddles to make the experience feel entirely unique - like it was tailored exclusively for the listener."

- how does this make it exclusively for the listener? might wanna add something quick there to help explain it better

this review is really sweet tho, flows so well for being so "rusty" but ya still got it Atari. it seems like I could like this but I need ur final say before I jam it. also Atari ur my inspiration thank u :D

DungeonBoy
July 31st 2017


2935 Comments


Good review man. I really enjoyed Destrunken, and thought the single they released was okay. After reading your review I am curious to check out the entire thing. Thanks for posting!

Atari
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2017


22536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Elynna, glad you dig it man! I actually need to get on those bonus tracks



@Con, yeah that line is a bit iffy..cheers for pointing that out! what I meant was that they kept their audience in mind by keeping them guessing but I'll have to word it differently ;] Also, I'd like to hope you would dig this but I'm not as familiar with your taste in this particular genre so can't say for sure. If you like neofolk, post rock, or atmo bm then definitely give it a shot!



@dungeonboy, cheers dude. "Drowning" wasn't exactly a stand-out for me so hopefully you dig the rest of the album more! could see you digging this for sure, though it's quite different than Destrunken





Pho3nix
July 31st 2017


325 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Seems interesting, added this to my queue! thanks for the review.

UniqueUniverse
July 31st 2017


5676 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Quite an interesting pairing of subtle vocals and the grandiose instrumentation.

bnelso55
July 31st 2017


1239 Comments


So glad this got a review. Great work. It's a decisive change in sound, but I really like this. "Lorn" is an early favorite. The tension and release in that song is wonderful.

zaruyache
July 31st 2017


17529 Comments


and adds elements of post-rock-

I'm in.

Digging: Gabor Szabo - Dreams

chug73
July 31st 2017


2980 Comments


That goofy german accent kills the the awesome vibe here

BallsToTheWall
July 31st 2017


48012 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Need!

Digging: Old Sorcery - Realms of Magickal Sorrow

Crysis
Emeritus
August 1st 2017


17262 Comments


had no idea this was being released gotta check

GhandhiLion
August 1st 2017


1470 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Same, love me some dark folk.

Digging: Tetsuo - ?? (Ranshuo)

Atari
Staff Reviewer
August 1st 2017


22536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers everyone!



starting to wish I mentioned "Lonesome October" in the review...such a serene and gorgeously orchestrated track. and "Floating Mind" is pretty cool too.



"That goofy german accent"



how could you

JasonCarne
August 1st 2017


852 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This definitely bumps in the whip.

heyadam
August 1st 2017


1918 Comments


Really digging this. Never listened to them until now.

Digging: The National - Sleep Well Beast



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