After five years of activity, and three EP's, the self-described, one-man Doom machine known as […]
By Damian Smith
July 31, 2019
Weltfremd - Nachwelt album cover

After five years of activity, and three EP's, the self-described, one-man Doom machine known as WELTFREMD, at last, present their debut, full-length album, "Nachwelt". With the bulk of its tracks being named after the rivers of the Underworld in Greek mythology, it's safe to assume that there's probably an underlying concept here. But, unfortunately, as the lyrics are all in German, I won't really be able to touch on that in this review. There is, however, still plenty to talk about with respect to "Nachwelt," so let's get into it!

As previously mentioned, this record is the sole vision of one individual, named Marco Bruder. And, while one-man bands are certainly not uncommon in Metal these days, what struck me about the music on this release is how organically each song progresses. Even though each instrument, with the exception of the cello, was recorded by one individual, the songs all move and flow as though they had been jammed out by a room full of musicians. It's also worth noting that in its entire 50-minute run time, I never really felt bored.

This album seems very consistent in its vision, and it never drags, or suffers from being too repetitive. Marco has truly done a tremendous job of figuring out precisely where each transition needs to occur, and how to pace his compositions to avoid monotony. There's also a great deal of sonic and emotional variation between the tracks on this record, and it really feels as though we're being taken on a journey. The band cites a wide variety of influences, from PALLBEARER to WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM. And, while the music of WELTFREMD could easily be characterized as experimental Sludge, there are many other elements involved here, including some smatterings of Black Metal, Drone, Funeral Doom, and even Post Rock.

For example, in the middle of the track, "Styx," there's a brief frenzy of blast beats, with some absolutely feral vocals that would be right at home on one of MARDUK's more recent offerings. Then there are tracks like, "Lethe," that slow things down to a more atmospheric simmer, and almost calls to mind a NINE INCH NAILS vibe, at times. My favorite track on the record, "Phlegeton," is an utterly miserable slow burner, laced with despondent, Funeral Doom riffing and a groove heavy mid-section that breaks up the glacial pace, and keeps things from getting stale.

The eleven minute, instrumental closer, "Elysion," is another piece that really caught me off guard. The track begins with a stirring piano melody that's soon joined by ethereal synths, a reverb-soaked clean guitar, and even a real cello. As the piece builds on, and drums and bass are both introduced, it never loses its haunting, sense of serenity. The tones on this album are exactly what you'd expect to find in the Sludge genre; it's brimming with filthy, snarling bass and guitars, and vicious, strained shouts. I do have to talk about the clean vocals, for a moment, though.

For the most part, they kind of follow the sort of unprocessed and raw aesthetic of the music, and so the fact that they're a little pitchy at times isn't completely unforgivable. But, on certain tracks, like "Lethe," where the music is more pristine and minimalist, they do tend to stick out, and it can be fairly distracting. This small criticism is far from being a deal breaker, though! Despite their imperfections, there are actually some really interesting melodies and harmony ideas to be found. And, it certainly didn't prevent me from wanting to go back and give "Nachwelt" a few repeat listens!

7 / 10









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"Nachwelt" Track-listing:

1. Acheron
2. Styx
3. Lethe
4. Phlegeton
5. Kokytos
6. Elysion

Weltfremd Lineup:

Marco Bruder - All Instruments
Albrecht Probst - Cello

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