The debut of Bann is finally available. After their impressive EP “Antiochia” in 2006, the German duo returns with its first full length. The band was formed in the end of 2004, inspired by the Middle Ages and with the wish to create a musical “illustration” of this era. Their EP was self released in 50 pieces, but soon enough Grief Foundation signed the band and re-released it. Even though it was a very promising debut, nothing could foretell of this wonderful debut!
Their love for melodic melancholic compositions was obvious from the keyboard based “Antiochia”, even though the production wasn’t that good. But now, with a much-improved sound and the addition of amazing violins, Bann made a big step forward. “Æschatologia” is an excellent album, with a very distinctive and personal sound that really surprised me. They have a theatrical atmosphere and their orchestrations are very rich, almost symphonic. They aren’t exactly a black metal band, but mostly an extreme melodic metal band with black metal elements, mainly in the vocals. Each of their six songs is about 10 minutes long, dominated by the melodic lines of violins, performed by the guest violinist Salome Althammer. There is a great variety in the vocals, from black metal (most of the time), whispers, clean male ones and choirs. Keyboards still have a significant role in their sound, both in the creation of a magical symphonic background and in the lead melodies, especially the piano tunes.
It is true, that Bann offer a very different vision of the Middle Ages than most bands. Melancholy and despair are the main emotions that come out of their compositions; no epic heroes, or folk tunes and tales of witches… only darkness and sorrow, through their warm melodies. They are mainly into mid-tempo rhythms, without many outbursts, or changes but they manage to stay interesting through all 65 minutes of their album. And this is because of their innovative songwriting, their enchanting melodies and their theatrical expressive vocals. They somehow remind me some of the first Angizia albums’ atmosphere, but of course with a very different and personal approach. Their lyrics are in German, so I can’t actually have an opinion, but for those of you who speak the language, they are in the CD. I have the impression though that they must be interesting, judging from the overall effort that has been put in the rest of the album.
“Æschatologia” CD is released in a digipak with 12-page booklet by the small British label Grief Foundation. If you are interested in melodic melancholic extreme – black metal, Bann is a very good suggestion. You can listen on your own in their myspace page and you can also find info about purchasing this piece of art.
Bann @ Myspace
Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos