Todtgelichter - Apnoe

Continuing down their traditional 'three year release,' Germany's avant-garde black metal act Todtgelichter unleashes their fourth full length album. For those who have never heard this group before it is a very diverse listen, employing typical black metal passages mixed with tons of melody, female vocals, clean harmonies that would attract folk metal listeners, and overall just a very strong presence that screams modern black metal. Some could even compare it to Shining- though less depressive and jazzy. Right from the opening "Embers" one can heard the diverse mixture of snarls with the clean, though repetitive female driven chorus, and overall delivers a strong musical output of harmonic guitars. Other tracks like "Lights Of The Highway" are less black metal oriented and feel more avant-garde metal- here the male and female vocals are layered together with great cohesion and on top of the simple, yet attractive guitar sound, brings in a lot more interest than the average black metal listener. Some might even wonder if they are even hearing black metal anymore- it sounds so far from the typical expectation.

Some tracks really make a stretch for variety. "Kollision" is neither avant-garde rock or black metal as it heads in a industrial atmospheric direction, serving as a great interlude with some keyboard work and what sounds like a few 'beats on a metal pipe' sound. The following "Beyond Silence" also blends in quite well as it starts out slow and builds; the instrumental work is certainly more melodic/ depressive black metal styled but the vocal work again stretches more to melodic metal as opposed to the shrieks as it focuses on the clean vocals. As the album continues to progress some fans might complain that Todtgelichter are moving farther and farther from their black metal influence; it isn't until the last track "Odem" that listeners really get a taste of the harsh vocals again, but the music surrounding it still seems not quite suited for the genre with its rather jazzy approach. When the clean male vocals come in, it feels right at home. While this turn may be new for the group, it is a sign of their continual progression and overall suits them well. The album is extremely harmonic and while not quite the 'heavy metal crusher' some might have first expected when seeing a touch of black metal mixed in with the rest, it is a gem to be heard in a modern metal world. Definitely appealing to those who have a taste for a mix of dark metal, avant-garde, or melodic black metal in general with heaps of female vocals.

  1. Embers
  2. Lights Of Highways
  3. Beyond Silence
  4. Kollision
  5. Tiefer Fall
  6. Expectations
  7. Soil
  8. Torn
  9. Until It All Begins
  10. Odem

Reviewer: Colin McNamara
Jun 5, 2013
Next review: Terrorage - Lobotomy

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