Monday, 6 February 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Weltesser - "Crestfallen"

By:  Grim Trashcan

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 27/01/2016
Label: Prosthetic Records

Weltesser magnificently blends elements of old-school sludge/punk sensibilities and white hot riff-manipulation with the precise amount of drawn out feedback manipulation that more than harshes your fucking mellow - it pisses all over it.

“Crestfallen” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Regret
2). Guide
3). Living to Try
4). Terminal
5). Rats
6). Crestfallen

The Review:

Full disclosure folks: I pre-ordered the physical release of this album based off one preview track months ago. Let your assumptions fly and cast your cynical flavor over this entire review if you must. That being said, "Crestfallen" by Weltesser is such a fucking banger on so many crucial levels - subjective bias can be blindly removed from the equation. 

On to more important matters: Sour Diesel. The promo sticker on this record makes mention of it in a phrase stating "fueled by sour diesel and misery". Perfect in such non-ironic fashion. When I think of the many strains of cannabis and the resulting psychoactive effects of each specific phenotype, sativa stands out as the intellectual, introspective, active cerebral champion of creativity and focus. A cleansing, rejuvenating experience that sort of hits the reset button on the stagnation of couch-locked pain mitigation and life's daily aches and woes. I'm looking at you, Indica. Weed references aside, Weltesser magnificently blends elements of old-school sludge/punk sensibilities and white hot riff-manipulation with the precise amount of drawn out feedback manipulation that more than harshes your fucking mellow - it pisses all over it. 

Listening to this, I can draw some similarities to old -(16)- material, sort of. There's an aggression here that is apparent but it comes off more frustrated and finite as opposed to raw and unbridled. The guitar tone skirts the plane between caustic mid-ranged savagery within the riff dynamic and then it gets accompanied by what sounds like another guitar but is actually the bass providing bright swaths of feedback manipulation in breakdowns and transitions. Other times, the roles are cleverly reversed while the bass slams along on a trance inducing pattern and the guitar screams the complimentary sirens. The opposing dynamics offer pretty much the space and breathing room for the drummer to handle his role in perfectly understated and civilized fashion, sneaking in high-hat commas and periods on groove based sentences. Dynamics in dissonance. Emphasis on feel and timing. No more is that expressed in the title track at the very end of the record. As a complete listening experience - it seems like the relatively quickly moving tracks lead you to the final push that is "Crestfallen". 

The entire album tears along at such a perfect pace, with catch your breath moments that get growl-howled over like the stand out stretch that occurs early on in the track "Guide". Yelled melody with a deliverance that conveys more than anger- seemingly cathartic release. The transition from the ending of that song into "Living to Try" should be a case-study example for all aspiring sonic dark sorcerers in how to draw in pure shadow. This doesn't sound like misery and doom for the sake of being miserable and doomed. It sounds like an anxious spirit trying to navigate the crumbling, failing nature of existence and interaction within either itself or its surroundings. We've all been there. One too many edibles in a social setting and your soul literally shudders from its own presence. 

An overview at the lyric sheet/insert that accompanied this record revealed much more to me than I had expected. As sort of a mission statement or parameter setting series of phrases the group has decided to share some words of wisdom to the listener: "It is hard to desire consciousness. Watching people live their lives, fighting tirelessly for a home that has already been wasted. It's exhausting. Constantly checking myself, constantly working for a better stay, but it will never be better. The redundancy of our music, of our words, is to push this subject. It will never be better. You will always be working on yourself. You will always be anxious and alone. Your friends and family mean nothing. You'll amount to nothing. Remember that." 

Got it? In case you forget, you can get re-assured by the final and my favorite experience on this offering - the epic 8 minute title track.   From silence barks out pretty much the over-arcing theme and value of this record - dealing with life as it is presented to you. To literally live in your anxieties because ultimately you'll amount to nothing. Also on display during this last song is the bands talent at locking in those perfectly synchronized, sort of abstract feedback moments that if not handled properly or overdone by some could border on obnoxious or pretentious. Not so in this application at all.

This record is great and you should buy it. Not because I said so, but because you need to hear this. It's something new on so many levels and if it doesn't serve to help you question what this proposed genre is doing or can be capable of - then I feel bad for you. I'm glad this album exists. When it ends I literally take a deep breath and feel as if the band has helped me take it. A reset button on stagnation and couch-lock. 

“Crestfallen” is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook