Sometimes when you expect black metal you get it with a heavy dose of neo classical music. That’s the case with both Dammerfarben and Blaze of Sorrow and their split EP “Geister des Winters.” There is a strong link between black metal and classical music, something in the movement and flow of the music, the fusing of strings and percussion. There are many black metal bands that have purposefully distanced themselves from classical music for some reason or another (there are some seem to believe black metal was born completely separate from any other form of music which is stupid) but there are those like Dammerfarben and Blaze of Sorrow that embrace the classical connection and transcend both genres.
Geister des Winters was a shock to me, I hadn’t heard either of these bands but upon seeing that they were both atmospheric black metal bands I expected a lot of acoustics and atmosphere against the backdrop of slow, and deliberate instrumentation. What I got was a beautiful and dark piece of neo classical music, something that sounds more like a movie soundtrack or something composed by Wagner for a new opera than a black metal split album.
The music Dammerfarben offers in the split is very string oriented, with sweeping movements that evoke natural sounds the same way a dark ambient album would. In fact, in the first movements in Dammerfarben’s half of the songs there is a lot of field recordings of rain and wind. Having listened to a lot of Wagner and other German composers throughout the years I have come to notice that there is a very blurred line between folk music and classical music, in fact with music like Dammerfarben the line doesn’t really exist at all. The level of craftsmanship in the music is enough to make me want to check out their other albums, to see what they can do under the blanket of black metal.
Blaze of Sorrow has a lot piano music interlaced with the guitars to create a brilliant, melancholic atmosphere. Just like Dammerfarben, Blaze of Sorrow seems to have more in common with neo-classical, dark ambient music than black metal. Even so, you can hear a lot of black metal-style music, or at least a lot of the techniques, in the music, in the feel of the music. Often atmospheric black metal stirs the emotions, so too does the music of Blaze of Sorrow and Dammerfarben. I highly recommend this split, it’s not metal in the truest sense of the word but it has enough brilliant instrumentation and musicality by black metal artists that I think it can be added to the ranks of metal albums.
Listen and support!