Genre: Extreme Progressive Metal Folk Extreme Metal
Label: Twilight Vertrieb
Slartibartfass is a German folk metal band formed in 2005. They began as a typical Viking black / death metal band, with a lot of synths. Their first album “Nordwind” was released in 2006 by Trollzorn, like their second one “Nebelheim” in 2007. The second album was better produced with less Finntroll influences. In 2009 they released “Funkenfeuer” via Ketzer Records and things became much better! Their music was more complex, expressive and theatrical, with more “real” folk instruments and a professional sound. Their fourth album “Schwarz Verhüllt” was released in the end of 2011 by Twilight Vertrieb and goes their music one step forward.
Their latest work has almost nothing to do with band’s first efforts. The whole album is written like a theater play and the lyrics have dialogues between the main characters (it is not reflected so much in the music though). It lasts for over 47 minutes and is split into 7 tracks. Their music is now far from Viking metal; what I listen is progressive / melodic extreme metal with a lot of folk elements and avant-garde touches. The band has perfected its production and has a definitely mainstream approach. Their song structures are much more complex and the band doesn’t follow the typical bridge / refrain standards; actually I don’t think they repeat anything in their songs! So “Schwarz Verhüllt” is a work full of different ideas, with variety in rhythm and atmosphere. As a result it needs time and careful listening to unfold its beauty. The guitars are wonderful, having the leading role in the songs. Their music is very diverse combining many different genres. Bagpipes, synths and piano parts often enrich their compositions, while there are also some electronic elements here and there. Philipp’s vocals remain on the brutal style, closer to pagan black metal screams and they fit their music perfectly. My favorite song is “Angst (Der Morgen Graut am Horizont)” especially its mid part with one on the best melodies I’ve listened recently! All the lyrics are in German dealing with the different emotions the protagonist has to experience. Emotions like solitude (chapter 1), love (chapter 2), sorrow (chapter 3), fear (chapter 4), dignity (chapter 5) and melancholia (chapter 6) leading the listener through the darkest depths of human awareness.
I see this like a new beginning for Slartibartfass. If you knew their first works, you will be surprised by the band’s turn, especially if you haven’t checked their previous album. I am really curious to see what their next work will sound like.”Schwarz Verhüllt” is released by Twilight Vertrieb in jewel case edition, including a 16-page booklet with nice artwork and photography in the inner pages. Fans of melodic progressive folk extreme metal better check them in the official links below, since their music isn’t easily described by words.