Verlassen introduces himself into the underground world of extreme metal with this self-titled, self-produced 4-track demo. To be honest, just before pressing play I expected to hear what it seems today’s black metal trade: a useless amount of raw-produced chainsaw-style riffs mashed up with meaningless screams. Well, gladly this isn’t Verlassen‘s demo case. Let’s see why.
First of all vocals are used very grudgingly. Second, the sound quality is a lot better than what I expected it to be, obviously we’re not talking about a stellar production, but it’s good enough for a demo. And third the music is an interesting cocktail of atmospheric black metal tinted with depressiveness and ambient drops. Not so original but anyway very good.
The owner of the Verlassen project (Skinrur) is also Agonie‘s lead guitarist. Personally I do prefer him in this one-man band version than as Agonie‘s member (I do not mean at all to discredit his work in this band though). Probably here he has more freedom to develop his own ideas, and hell, his ideas work out pretty well! For example I cherished the ending track of the demo Freiheit (for which Google says that it stands for “Freedom” in English), a quite simple synth outro in which he just plays a bunch of notes over few pad chords. It could seem banal but it’s very effective and enchanting instead.
Probably the third song, Weg In Die Freiheit, it’s the only real weakness of this mini-album. Indeed it’s a bit too filled with black metal’s cliché and it lacks of originality but this is the only actual complain I can make. For the rest the demo is neat and enjoyable and you’ll be willing to play it over and over again.
If you like sad melodies melted with black metal’s anger and surrounded by a veil of sinister synths, or if you’re fans of Lustre (yes, it reminds me a lot of him), Burzum or Leviathan then you should check this one out.
Probably one of the best debut demos I listened to this year so far.