September 1st, 2009
Release length: 1:08:37
Musically, this is a very well constructed album. The music does shift often, but not too much that it’ll ruin the flow. The only time something shifts and ruins the flow of the song is on the title track, “ZurÃ¼ck in die Unterwelt”. The song itself is phenomenal and really throws the listener into a very lonely state though the ambience the well written guitar riffs give off. The only problem here is that this track, for pretty much no reason, winds up fading out around ten minutes in, not going to complete silence, then starts to fade back in to continue the song, almost as if the band decided to have two songs flow naturally together, but still show seperation by this act. Either way, there really is no real difference musically, and both sections are equally as powerful, but it really would have helped the song more had this occurance not happened in the first place. Aside that, the only other time on this release that seems to hurt the flow would be the slower portion of “Perdition”. While this section does it’s job well to finish the song off, it which features some clean singing that, after a little while, starts to get rather boring due to the somewhat off-tone vocals being performed.
The production quality of the album is something to take note of as well. At the start of ZurÃ¼ck in die Unterwelt, it seems like the quality of the production quality of the CD is a bit too low, having the vocals a bit too far off in the background and almost compeltely dominated by the guitars and drums. However, as the album continues, everything seems to pick up, and the lower vocals were meant to be like that. The volume levels used here are great and really add to the overall madness and beauty that the tracks possess. Some tracks will shift from a chaotic sound that sometimes may overtake the vocalist, to a much slower acoustic segment, such as on the introduction of the track “Perdition”, which is a beautiful acoustic piece that lasts upwards of ten minutes before caving into the actual song that, for the whole twenty minutes, will keep you hooked, regardless of the aforementioned slower section that can become a bit bland even on your first listen.
There’s really nothing negative that can be mentioned about the album. Each song on here seems to carry the feeling that they are all connected musically, but still have their own unique feel without actually becoming repetative. Angmar also manages to make the insanely long tracks on here pass by with ease, and before you know it, you find yourself wrapped up with the music that you don’t even know you’re anywhere near the end of the track. This album is well composed with plenty of tracks, such as the title track, and the other opus-like songs “Unborn of the Ancient Times”, and the very emotional and epic closing track “Lachrimae Mundi”, which is easily the best track off the release and will have you going right back to that track, if not the album, for more.
Aside the aforementioned two issues with the flow of the music on the title track, as well as “Perdition”, ZurÃ¼ck in die Unterwelt is damn near a Black Metal masterpiece. Angmar have put together a very captivating release with plenty of haunting guitar chords and matching drums that will captivate you right from the start, right until the very end without letting go. It’s safe to say that Angmar are an important act in the French Black Metal style, and hopefully the band will continue to issue quality releases such as this in the near future. Until then, embrace ZurÃ¼ck in die Unterwelt with widely open arms, as this is going to be an album you not only won’t soon put down, but also won’t soon forget.
01. ZurÃ¼ck in die Unterwelt – 12:33
02. Stabat Mater – 6:05
03. Perdition – 20:47
04. Unborn of the Ancient Times – 10:27
05. 13Ã¨me RÃªve – 5:56
06. AsthÃ©nie – 5:30
07. Lachrimae Mundi – 7:19
|Overall Score: 8.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Ketzer Records.