Let’s not fool ourselves here, ...Und die Welt Ward Kalt und Leer
is fairly accessible as far as black metal goes. There’s not really anything in the way of hard listening, the guitar tone is thin but not too thin, riffs are dark but not too dark, vocals aren’t as menacing as some of the others I’ve heard, it’s just a really easy, comfortable listen. But it’s well written and I enjoy it, in fact it’s probably some of the best black metal I’ve heard in a long time despite the relative accessibility of the record.
play a highly atmospheric, melancholic form of black metal with a heavy focus on melodic riffs and haunting ambiance. Most songs use only 2-3 major riffs mixed in with the occasional blasting section. There’s not much in the way of complexity but there’s enough variety to keep it interesting. The riffing ranges from melodic leads to faster, more aggressive sections with the occasional slower, doom inspired section. There’s a fair bit in the way of diversity within this album, no idea is repeated long enough to wear thin yet they’re repeated for just the right amount of time to get the atmosphere across.
The use of instrumental interludes is something that Imperium Dekadenz
have perfected over the years, with the minimalistic piano and acoustic guitar sections of ...Und die Welt Ward Kalt und Leer
it starts here. The instrumentals, whilst not as refined as those that dominate their latter releases, they’re suitably atmospheric, being absent of any and all unnecessary elements, allowing the band to channel their atmosphere much more efficiently. In fact, much of the music lacks any exterior elements; a lone guitar churns out melodic tremolo picked lines whilst a second occasionally comes in to harmonize the lead work. The vocals are suitably expressive and powerful, although they’re not mixed up a bit, the vocals remain the same style throughout, they still fit in with the context of the music. They’re pushed back into the mix a fair bit, sounding distant and detached. The cover art suitably captures the albums atmosphere, distant, detached, empty of all unnecessary elements, leaving a stripped down black metal template which is uniformly solid. The use of piano is never overdone, being a suitably addition to the bands sound and thus complements the atmosphere nicely.
There’s not really much in the way of musical complexity, but when compared to a lot of other atmospheric black metal bands this album as a whole is a lot more diverse. There’s a fair amount of tempo changes and a number of interesting dynamics, songs never settle on an idea for too long, always transitioning to the next at the right time. Atmosphere remains a constant, monochromatic bleakness yet each track expands upon this baseplate in various subtle ways. Music ranges from harsher, depressive black metal inspired sections to more galloping, soaring sections. Each track is suitably distinct, preventing the album from coming together to form a homogenous blur.
Whilst ...Und die Welt Ward Kalt und Leer
might remain consistent, and possibly monotonous throughout, the album never gets boring, the atmosphere is certainly powerful and the compositions are interesting and varied. Of course this is some of the most listenable black metal I’ve come across in a while but that doesn’t detract from the overall experience of this album, it’s a very absorbing listen and there’s a lot of really good riffs. I like to put this album on when I’m in the mood for more introspective, atmospheric black metal that lacks much of the aggression of the second wave, it’s a perfect fit. Definitely worth checking out for new and old fans of black metal alike.