Origin: Germany
Genre: Black Metal
Label: Kristallblut Records Obscure Abhorrence Productions
Year: 2013

Bavarian German black metallers Schattenvald return with a new album 5 years after their latest work. Schattenvald were formed back in 1998, as the personal project of Nachtsturm and after several demos they self-released 3 full-length albums. “I” and “II” in 2007 and “III” in 2008, each limited to 100 copies. Luckily the band got the attention of two German labels, Kristallblut Records and Obscure Abhorrence Productions that cooperated to re-release the 3 albums in deluxe digipak editions in 2013. Since 2012 there is a second permanent member in the band, Iskharian, who is responsible for lyrics and vocals. Schattenvald composed a new album as a duo and it was released in the end of 2013, again by both labels. Guess the album title: “IV“.           

Despite the long distance between the previous works, not many things have changed in terms of sound quality and production. It is obvious that Schattenvald prefer a raw underground sound for their music that gives the impression of a live recording, without trying to “hide” any flaws; the truth is that it fits perfectly their style. I believe though that the production could be much better, without “altering” the overall feeling of their music. “IV” contains 6 long compositions with a total duration over 45 minutes. They continue to play extreme black metal, with a raw, unpolished, yet quite melodic sound. Their distorted guitars are more powerful and natural this time, drums have a “dry” sound, while their synths are used more widely, both as piano keys or as an epic orchestral layer. Sometimes they carry the lead melodies and other times they simply remain in the background, enriching the band’s sound. Still, the overall balance of their orchestrations is making the guitars the most dominant instrument in their sound. Iskharian’s shrieking black metal screams are in complete match with the band’s extreme sound. Despite the raw aggressive nature of their music, there are many great melodies in the album, especially in some wonderful instrumental parts… Lyrics are in their native language, but they are not present in the CD.

IV” is an album that most probably will satisfy Schattenvald’s fans, still it remains faithful in the band’s principles. If you are a fan of melodic raw black metal with an old school atmospheric sound, then this is a band you better check. Like the previous 3 albums, “IV” comes in a deluxe 6-panel digipak edition limited to 500 copies, co-released by  Kristallblut Records and Obscure Abhorrence Productions. You can visit their official profiles below and get a taste of their music. Schattenvald are already working on the next album…


Rating:  (8/10)

Schattenvald @ Facebook
Schattenvald @ Bandcamp


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