Dunkle Klange

Ars Irae

Germany is a nation that produced some great Black Metal bands over the years. The […]
By Danny Sanderson
May 5, 2015
Ars Irae - Dunkle Klange album cover

Germany is a nation that produced some great Black Metal bands over the years. The vast majority of it could be placed comfortably into the category of "raw Black Metal", and many of the bands, although very good, don't really attempt to stray too far from this tried and tested formula. But when bands do go off and do their own thing, and stamp their own style and influences on the music, it can be very interesting. ARS IRAE is one such band who take a much more modern approach to this kind of music, and the resulting sounds that can be heard on their newest release, "Dunkle Klange", shows that this is a band with a lot of good ideas.

The opening track, "Des Jagers Fluch", is very much a straightforward, mid-paced Black Metal song. This is a very melodic form of Black Metal, with some really thick, strong vocals riding over the top of the music. It's not the strongest or best track, but it is nonetheless a good way to start this record. The albums title track is much better. It's essentially a great piece of fast, groove-laden Black Metal. Again, the melodic parts work incredibly well here, and help bring in various different hooks to the music. "In Die Tiefe" is a very solid piece of Blackened Death Metal complete with punishing rhythms, cool leads and tar-like vocals. The drums make an impressive backdrop, and at some points sound pretty vicious. This is an album that slowly gets better as it goes along. The fourth track, "Wieland der Schmied", is built around a slow, Death Metal chug that works very well, and proves to be one of the better songs on this record. "Schatten" is another decent, mid-paced song with plenty of good guitar lines and interesting vocals, but this song doesn't really stand out in any way on this album. "Als nichts war" takes a much faster, fiercer approach than the earlier songs on this album, and it sounds great. It's a shame that the band play at this speed more often, because it really helps to bring out the intensity of their music very well. They also bring in a lot of cleaner guitar parts that also compliment the music expertly. "Ein neuer Konig" sounds decent, but again, there aren't many significant hooks, although there are definitely moments of promise, and there are parts on here that work very well. "Blutrote Flammen" has a lot of promise as well, and luckily delivers on it, with great riffs and hooks, coupled with some really awesome vocals. This is perhaps the closest thing to a traditional Black Metal track on here, but it has a lot of modern twists that make it really interesting to listen to. The penultimate track is perhaps the best one on the whole album; "Herbst" jumps out of the speakers, full force, and doesn't get any less unrelenting throughout. The drums drive the song forward, and the vocal performance on the track in particular is amazing, and sits very well alongside the music. The albums closing track opens on a slow, eerie guitar line, that moves forward like a funeral dirge throughout the first section of the song, before gradually getting faster and more aggressive. It ends on the sound of grating feedback, bringing this album to a close.

This is a decent album. It very nearly became a really great album, and at points it showed plenty of promise, but fell just a little short of the mark half of the time. This is nonetheless a pretty good release from a well-established band. With any luck, the next album will be just as good, and expand on the ideas that the band were putting into their music further, and really create something unique out of it. Like I said at the beginning, this isn't a band that travel down the easy, well trodden path that most Black Metal acts do, and I think that with an album like this, they could well push themselves ahead of their fellow contemporaries in the German Black Metal scene.<

7 / 10


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"Dunkle Klange" Track-listing:

1. Des Jagers Fluch
2. Dunkle Klange
3. In die Tiefe
4. Wieland der Schmied
5. Schatten
6. Als nichts war
7. Ein neuer Konig
8. Blutrote Flammen
9. Herbst
10. Homo Sum Humani

Ars Irae Lineup:

Michael S. - Vocals
Stephan K. - Guitars
Florian K. - Guitars
Volker S. - Bass
Anton F. - Drums

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