Depression - Ära Der Finsternis

Depression from Germany is definitely a well-respected death metal/grindcore band. They were formed in 1989 and within the next few years they shaped their personal style and remained faithful to it ever since. They have a huge discography, and they already count over 30 uncompromising years in the death/grind scene. So, it won't be an exaggeration to call them veterans of the death/grind scene. Bands like Blood, Dead, Gut and Cock And Ball Torture (C.B.T.) have praised them!

Depression use simple, but effective riffs borrowed from both the metal and punk scenes, and they create an own atmosphere with tons of personality. The power trio has remained together for more than 30 years and melting their influences, they have managed to create their own expressive ways. They create the right groove in their songs, an inner pulse dressed up in sickness, filth and brutality. In the exclusive interview they kindly gave us for you can learn more for Depression in their own words.

"Ära Der Finsternis" is Depression's 6th full length release, but don't be fooled; their discography is huge, and includes tons of demos, 7" EPs and splits. "Ära Der Finsternis" is a morbid and filthy album. It sets off with 'Der Aufbruch', an ode to the old school gothic/death metal days, featuring a dominant piano theme throughout the whole song. It brings back nice memories of the early gothic metal scene that mixed gothic with death metal. The vocals of the song are emotional and brutal death metal grunts at the same time. The atmosphere of the song reminded me of the old school Greek death metal band Odes Of Ecstasy for some reason. The sound limitation of the cassette tape media makes the song's fragile melody even more dramatic. On 'Uttermost Belief' Depression deliver some solid old school, ferocious death/grind with low end growls over crunchy riffs.

'Knochenfäule' punk-ish guitars dwell on the borders of grindcore. They surpass them when the vocals reach their high ends. 'Knochenfäule' is a killer track to mosh with, and especially after the beat down break that seems to work really good here. The song features guest-vocals by Marc Grewe (ex-Morgoth, Insidious Disease) and a lyric video was made for it.'Created Reality' drives the album towards even more punk ways. The rhythm section adds to it a nice Sabbat (Jap) aura. Speed/underground metal at its best! 'A Haunted Soul' is a heavy song with a pounding central guitar theme. The vocals will take you back to the early days when death metal and black metal were one! The nice breaks of the song and its chaotic grind vibe are a Depression trademark.

'Twisted' is the heaviest song of the album so far. It has a circling riff. The bass sounds as if coming from the graveyard digging the fresh soil. I love the Autopsy demo aesthetics of the song. Even the vocals are closer to Chris Reifert on this one. Definitely one of my top picks from the album. On 'Of Grief And Pleasure' Depression perform with the nerves and guts old school death metal needs. The song is a perfect choice for fans of Coffins and Anatomia. 'No Excuses' is a super groovy Depression tune. Its low end vocals are really brutal and the song's drumming is super cool. 'Grin''s basic riff is thrash and just breaks with some heavier parts. Depression have an own way to compose their music. And this gives them their personal sound. Just like 'Of Grief And Pleasure', 'Changes' is a brutal old school injection given at the right time of the album. In its sick riffs Asphyx meet Autopsy. The song features guest-vocals by Marc Grewe making it even more special. 'The Ballad Of Typhoid Mary' is a 49 second grind holocaust! 'Come on Over' begins with the bass. On its solid groove, a heavy a-la after 'Wolverine Blues' Entombed song is structured. Spastik & Gesang is a grind link track to the most death metal song of the album until now, 'Tormentor'. the song has a Morbid Angel basic riff. The vocals sound as if coming from an early 90's demo tape. The leads are fantastic. 'Tormentor' shows another face of Depression and it has a great and skillful performance. The instrumental 'Der Weinende Tod' closes side A with an abstract piano theme.

'Seelenseuche Und Geweidepest' brings forth the ugliness and disgust of punk and early metal. Depression groove right and create killer and dynamic hooks in their songs. The fast parts are more than enough pounding to create a pit. The middle riff of the song has a classic harmony and gives a special character to it. The remarkable heaviness of 'Concept Of Time' gives way to some more excellent groovy hooks. 'Imbecile''s killer bass drive and nice harmonies give it a killer rock'n'roll attitude Lemmy himself would love! 'Alone' (Green Machine cover) is a rock song with subtle harmonic lines and gothic atmosphere. I think fans of Katatonia, early Paradise Lost and very early Anathema (demo and "They Die" 7") would dig this one. 'Existing Through Thoughts' many rhythmical changes offer diversity to its general death metal vibe. The next song is 'Master' (Master cover). Of course, Depression would pay tribute to the mighty Paul Speckmann! No need to add anything else. If you are not familiar with Master yet, then please start searching for their discography! You'll be caught by the neck!

'Coma' starts with some hellish screams over pounding bass. The vocals soon turn to death metal patterns. The riff is twisted and catchy. 'Master - Madness - Overdose' is another less than a minute long rapid attack. 'Depressionen II' is the longest track of the album. In its over 4 minutes of length, doom metal, death metal and grindcore are nicely mixed with fantastic results. The vocals are again gothic and they are offering an almost psychedelic version of Depression before they dive back into doom/death. In the middle part of the song, the spoken word is of Celtic Frost/Christian Death value and makes it a very different song and a great addition in the album. I really appreciate the band's experimentation. This is something greatly missed from today's music production. 'Ära Der Finsternis' is a German spoken word track. 'Era Of Darkness' is a piano instrumental that closes the circle and the release.

Then come 4 bonus songs from "Ein Hauch Von Moder Pt. II" re-animated. These songs were originally released as split-7"EP with Rejectamenta in 1998. 'Blood On God's Hands', 'Short Song', 'The Barbarian' and 'Eroded Epitaph' reveal what the band's status was over 20 years ago; brutal and passionate old school death/grind! Thankfully not much has changed in all these years!

"Ära Der Finsternis" was recorded in 2019-2020 and was first released on CD and "die-hard" 2CD edition from Rotten Roll Rex. Murder Records did this limited to 150 hand-numbered copies cassette tape release on the last day of 2020. This Depression 30th-anniversary release comes with a fantastic double sided A4 poster (one side with the band's logo and the classic Depression drawing, and the other with the band's photo, all in red, black and white) plus inlay with lyrics, artwork and photography in a very tasteful package! Fans of the underground and fans the old school death/grind will have to check out the new Depression album! It won’t disappoint you!

5 / 5 STARS

1. Der Aufbruch
2. Uttermost Belief
3. Knochenfäule
4. Created Reality
5. A Haunted Soul
6. Twisted
7. Of Grief And Pleasure
8. No Excuses
9. Grin
10. Changes
11. The Ballad Of Typhoid Mar
12. Come On Over
13. Spastik & Gesang
14. Tormentor
15. Der Weinende Tod
16. Seelenseuche Und Geweidepest
17. Concept Of Time
18. Imbecile
19. Alone (cover Green Machine)
20. Existing Through Thoughts
21. Master (cover Master)
22. Coma
23. Master - Madness - Overdose
24. Depressionen II
25. Ära Der Finsternis
26. Era Of Darkness
27. Blood On God's Hands
28. Short Song
29. The Barbarian
30. Eroded Epitaph