WALLFAHRER - Anthologie Der Abkehr
Release date April 27/18 (Bandcamp)
I remember when I first heard Nagelfar's Virus West opus in 2001, immediately being enamored by the guttural vocals sung in their native German. To me there is no better language to sing in to lay the black metal hammer down. I have no clue what the lyrics mean, but there's no questioning the filthy, raw effect they provide.
Wallfahrer is another German-based band that sing in their native tongue and actually are relatively close in sound to Nagelfar. There is an overall epic vibe to their sound, but at its underlying core is powerful/memorable mid-tempo blackness that draws the listener in. Spoken parts, acoustic sections and church bells are intermittently inserted to keep you on your toes, but it is the atonal guitar refrains placed over top that often dominate, adding to the somber/defeated atmosphere. The waves of despair flood the ears unceasingly, especially on album highlights 'Wallfahrt (Pfade Der Erkenntnis)' and 'Wildes Heer (Epilog Des Herbstes)' - eighteen minutes of sonic bliss when put together. However, it is the uber-intense 'Ketzerkonfession' that wins the day, its ultra-memorable riffage setting the bar high. Altogether, a harrowing journey most definitely worth taking. Hard to believe that Wallfahrer is unsigned given the quality of this release.