Vera : Schwarzach happens to be the name of a duo hailing from Germany, made up of Schwarzmaler (vocals) and Schwarzensee (instruments). It might be no surprise that they play black (schwarz) metal, although there are also other influences blended into the music. Earlier they released the albums ‘Ueberlebender’ (2009) and ‘Operation Kismet’ (2012). Six years later they appear to stop with dystopian post-apocalyptic themes, but now they dig deeper into the premonitions of this apocalyptic feel, already present during the Middle Ages in Europe with things like pandemics, climate changes and disintegration in the authorities and more of those chronics of an upcoming decline.
This third album ‘Sieben Seelen’ was produced by band member Schwarzensee and mastered by Skaldir at his Kalthallen Studios. We are not familiar with the earlier works of these guys, but the band should use a larger amount of orchestral arrangements and atmospheric parts for the first time as well as samples, synthesizers and spoken fragments. It brings a welcome variegation in their quite melodic, yet rude blackened sound. When we have our first encounter with opener ‘Ein Sturm Zieht Auf’, tight guitars are indeed preceded by any symphonic bombast, but more in the vein of Summoning than akin to Nightwish symphonic approach so to speak. The proclaiming voice of Schwarzmaler is rough and grim, this feel is invigorated by the use of German lyrics. But right away there is also an acoustic break, although it is short. The other influences mainly come from classic heavy metal, that’s why the guitars are melodious and a song like ‘Heimgesucht’ even has a kind of catchiness, in despite of the snappy tone of the vocal lines. In the slower ‘Pein Und Läuterung’ we hear the first spoken sample (woman’s voice) and some electro sounds in the background are used in ‘Das Land Zu Unseren Füssen’. It is rather grim, but never complex. As finale we hear the second pompous speech about the decline of the world in ‘Epilogue’, regaled with weighty baroque-like symphonic sounds. A meritorious album, but not a stunner.