Karg – Weltenasche (Art of Propaganda)

Friday, 28th October 2016
Rating: 7/10

As a sign of homogeneity, Anomalie (who are great), Harakiri for the Sky (who, too, are great), and Karg share members and somewhat of a similar sonic stamp. The three proclaim black metal as the foundation for the respective sounds, yet your classic, forest-dwelling black metal this is not. Rather, each imbue their styles with voluminous bunches of melody of the post- variety, giving off an identifiable persuasion. The product of Harakiri for the Sky singer V. Wahntraum, (who goes by J.J. here) Karg is the man’s multi-instrument outlet. On the band’s fifth full-length Weltenasche, J.J. sure finds a way to stretch songs out like elastic pants after a three-course meal.

Sung entirely in the man’s native Austrian tongue, Weltenasche is never at a loss for sky-scraping melodies. In fact, they’re virtually in every riff across the album’s eight songs and 71-minutes (!) of play. It’s the now way too pervasive “song length extension equals good song” formula, and it’s the regular drag-down here. For instance, “Le couloir des ombres,” begins with a caressing clean guitar intro, the type that is post-metal glory. After that, the song works its way into a half-time crawl, submerged with bright chords and J.J. near-rampant bark, which should be toned down for enhanced effect. Repeat this elsewhere (“Solange das Herz schlägt..”) and the album becomes a test of endurance.

To compartmentalize or make more efficient use of his ideas would be the right way to go for Mr. J.J., who has a distinctive, but atonal bark. His grasp of melody is not to be mistaken – it’s quite prevalent, but Weltenasche comes across like a marathon when albums like this should be a casual, overcast stroll…

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