Vera : Alexander Paul Blake is a multi-talented musician hailing from Berlin. We were really impressed when he released ‘Wanderungen Durch Dem Daemmerwald’ in 2013 with the progressive, atmospheric black metal outfit Aethernaeum. This appeared to be a sequel on his solo black metal project that started one year earlier with the album ‘Die Rueckkehr Ins Goldene Zeitalter’ and in 2015 we enjoyed ’Naturmystik’. But the man is most of all famous as composer and moving spirit of Eden Weint Im Grab since 2000, an innovative collective that has nearly no musical boundaries, but can be connected with (most of all) gothic, dark horror, rock, cabaret, poetry and even a semblance of blackened metal. In brief, this is an artistic constellation that can take you anywhere. Thus they mainly have their habitat at German festivals such as Wave Gotik Treffen, Castle Rock and Dark Troll and all their lyrics are in German. We are talking about a hybrid of Eisregen, The Vision Bleak and a semblance of Rammstein.
This seventh studio album ‘Na(c)htodreise’ is a concept album, the first one in their career. It totally fits in the slightly eerie horror themes from this six-piece, since the songs represent a journey through the underworld and go beyond the hereafter. All this is rendered in a dark, gloomy manner. Yet each song has a peculiar atmosphere, going from melancholic to cheerful (‘In Der Toten-Taverne’) to firm and heavy rocking (many of the songs). With cello and violins they bring in beautiful accents, while the whole thing sometimes verges to theatrical and cabaret-like vibes. Vocals of Alexander are mostly clean and storytelling, but there are incidental rougher death and black metal parts too. There are quite a lot of catchy gothic up-tempo songs on the album, but ‘Limbus’ comes close to a ballad and in the slow, captivating ‘Kahnfahrt Auf Dem Acheron’ solemn doom-laden patterns prevail. On the other hand a playful Western guitar graces up ‘Die Verwaiste Wüstenstadt’. Dark humour is omnipresent, but the band has also a kind of mysterious, arcane and melancholic touch, surely in the more soaring and experimental songs like ‘Aevum’ (magnificent emotive guitars!) and ‘Das Grosse Mysterium’. With a momentous epilogue, this 71 minutes long journey comes to an end, so we can get back to earthly matters. Eden Weint Im Grab might be a typical German band, yet they are very engrossing and they make albums on which you always search for the balance between being serious or black humour; all this on a soundtrack of catchy gothic rock. Recommended!