An outcast son singing his morbid gospels about death. Sounds like your everyday metal lyric? Well, maybe in some ways, but German black metalists Krater show another way of talking about it.
Musically, Krater delivers one of the finer albums of the genre to come out of Germany this year, as they are able to make their musical version more diverse by mixing classic black metal with some very nice slowed-down parts that give the listener time to think about what they hear. “Darvaza Breeds”, the last and best track is such an example, starting with a sample from HBO hit series “True Detective” over near-monastical chanting just before the song really kicks in with the words “Ich wollte den Tod” (‘I wanted death’) - but even then they do not simply rage on with fury, they give some variant tempos before the song makes way for a passage delivered by semi-acoustic guitar and piano parts only to wind up in another part of doom-influenced metal. You are even more blown away by the track when you find out that the lyrical images of flames and burning and a walk down a hellish abyss are already hinted at in the title – Darvaza is a place in Turkmenistan where a fiery gas crater is already burning for nearly 50 years.
Venenare, Latin for poisoning, gives you a very intimate insight into human nature as singer Abortio (the aborted) fights with his inner demons, trying to rid himself of the society that has given him a view onto nature and at the same time obstructs nature itself. He uses a lot of religious symbols and metaphors although being an atheist and saying that the use of Christian pictures and phrases (for example gospel, ashes, prayer) is a way to convey mental pictures associated with emotions though he does not want to give some kind of religious identity to his words.
Nevertheless, It becomes clear that for Krater those black metal hipsters who only follow the latest trend are no real metal fans, because the latter know Bathory, Venom, Mercyful Fate, Death, Hellhammer and lots of other bands mentioned in “No Place for You”. Alongside their real companions, the band wants to move forward, to end the inner “duty of suffering” (from “Zwischen den Worten”) that we are all succumbing to when doing as everybody expects us to do, not seeing who and what we can be.
Abortio delivers a really remarkable achievement encompassing black metal singing but sometimes even reaching Nick Cave-like clean lines, most clearly audible in “Stellar Sparks” and even more in “When Thousand Hearts”. This album will certainly be something for fans of Turia, Iskandr or Wolves in the Throne Room and fits the near-flawless Eisenwald catalogue of the last years perfectly.