Monday 30 January 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Ånd - ‘Aeternus’

By: Daniel Jackson

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 04/11/2016
Label: This Charming Man Records

This is only the band’s debut but there is a ton of promise here, they present an  engrossing style, smart arrangements, and excellent production, but as good as this is, I only see them getting better from here.

‘Aeternus’ CD//LP track listing:

1. Auferstehung
2. Verstoßene
3. Niedertracht
4. Illusion
5. Dämmerung
6. Schatten
7. Heimkehr

The Review:

Try as we might, it’s impossible to catch every worthwhile release in a year, even for someone with a pretty limited musical taste, like myself. With that in mind, Ånd’s debut album ‘Aeternus was released a couple of months ago, and it is absolutely worth your time. There’s plenty to dig into here, despite the album’s extra-lean running time.

Post-black metal has been around as a subgenre, in some form, for more than ten years now. To this point, the term has largely been reserved for a couple of key stylistic groups. The first would be bands in the Alcest or Deafheaven vein; black metal and shoegaze hybrids. The second group occupies a heavier space, focusing on sludge or grind and hardcore as musical counterpoints. While much closer to that second group than the first, Ånd doesn’t truly fit into either mould.

Over the course of the album’s twenty-six minutes, the band showcases a sound built upon a contrast between slowly picked black metal melody and deep resonant chords for added heaviness. This gives the songs a full, layered sound, and it’s easy to get swept up in the moment as the album goes on. This leads to a very cohesive overall sound for a first album, though stopping well short of ever feeling repetitive, even as the songs are often variations on a similar musical theme. “Schatten” stands out for being speedier than the vast majority of the album, but even then it’s reserved compared to most other black metal.

Another key point to consider about Ånd is their inclination to remain concise. None of the songs on the album breach the five minute mark, which is quite the rarity for a black metal band, a reliance on building mood and atmosphere. It speaks to the band having a strong grasp of what their sound is and should be, and to their strength as songwriters. This is only the band’s debut but there is a ton of promise here: the engrossing style, smart arrangements, and excellent production. As good as this is, I only see them getting better from here.

‘Aeternus’ CD/LP is available here.
Band info: Facebook