Dämmerung der Szenarien
is one of those albums that I could listen to every day and never tire of. There is something so appealing about the somber, melancholic brand of atmospheric black metal on display here that I cannot help myself but fall in love with this release. Everything has been executed flawlessly and the result is one of the most hauntingly beautiful albums I’ve had the pleasure of listening to.
Dämmerung der Szenarien
is a prime example of how well atmospheric black metal can be played. The music here is dark, dreary and packed full of emotion. Don’t let this fool you though the music isn’t soft by any means, there are plenty of aggressive parts that work hand in hand with the more melancholic sections. This contrast between light and dark really helps to keep the music engaging.
The atmosphere on this album is phenomenal, of course black metal has good atmosphere to start with but there is something completely ethereal and other worldly about Dämmerung der Szenarien
. Yes the atmosphere is black, but it’s not as downright hopeless and bleak as some of the other releases I’ve heard. There’s a faint glimmer of light penetrating the cold blackness, very faint actually but it’s definitely there. It really adds to the listening value because the mood isn’t set to monotone throughout. Dämmerung der Szenarien
is certainly a (very) depressing album but it’s not depressing on the same level of Nihilistic Purity
or Be Happy; those albums positively (or is it negatively?) ooze hopelessness. Dämmerung der Szenarien
is different, it doesn’t cut to the core as much as the previously mentioned albums. It’s a more romanticized depression suffused with longing and melancholy. This album will not want to make you run into incoming traffic; it will leave you with a more melancholic depression that’s more introspective rather than volatile and suicidal.
At the core of their somber sound is a harsh wall of sound emulated by the guitars. The guitars are surprisingly abrasive for an atmospheric black metal release and they really help to escalate the music to much greater heights. The riffs despite being fairly minimal are incredibly well written and capture the emotion of the album perfectly. They’re also fairly unique, blending both abrasiveness with surreal beauty and melody. An apt comparison would be Mgla
’s latest album With Hearts Toward None, where both brutality and beauty work in unison, although Mgla
are far more aggressive than Imperium Dekadenz
, there’s definitely a common ground between them with the whole light meets dark style. The distortion on the guitars is sublime and makes them sound much heavier than the majority of black metal bands. Some of the harsher sections are surprisingly melodic such as the outro for Hordes from the Dark Star
which has to have one of the saddest riffs I’ve heard in a long time no matter the genre.
Clean guitar breaks compliment the harsh guitars perfectly, the beautiful instrumental sections are an absolutely necessity for this album. The best instrumental is easily the title track with a section so beautiful I could listen to it all day and it would still have the same affect on me.
Mixed in with the guitars is some haunting keyboard work that compliments the music wonderfully. They’re not over used which for me personally is a very good thing. An over abundance of keybpards would have surely ruined this album but thankfully it is used sparingly to add extra touches of melancholy. The best synth works are on the tracks Nebelbrandung which has some strange eerie sounding keyboards mixed in with the harsh guitars and the closing track Waiting which is hypnotically beautiful in its delivery.
The vocalist favors a mid-high pitched snarl which is exceptionally aggressive. Despite
not being the most unique sounding vocals I’ve heard they suit the music perfectly. I really like how they are mostly sung in German. Despite
not actually being able to understand the language it is surprisingly vicious when rasped like this. I would have liked to have seen a bit more variety on the vocals however. The vocalist employs the same style through the entirety of the album, which despite not being a hindrance it would have been nice to have seen some different styles. This isn’t a criticism however; it is more a matter of degree rather than anything else although a few howls would have worked well.
Dämmerung der Szenarien
is an album I would recommend to Black Metal
fans only. I recommend newbies to the genre to stay well away from this and pick up something from say Dissection
instead. Dämmerung der Szenarien
isn’t an easy album to digest; it’s cold, brutal and depressing but at the same time it’s also eerily beautiful. Although this will probably be too much for new comers to the genre. For us seasoned listeners however then this is an unforgettable trip into the abyss well worth taking,