04 Nov 2021 - Thorsten
Black Metal | Amor Fati Productions | Release date: 12 Nov 2021
Thuringia is one of the central regions in Germany, and it has a rich cultural history which often serves as the background for Black Metal songs and bands. Many of you will now think of Mosaic, which also has been featured on VoS quite often, however there is one more band that one should know when talking about the connection between Black Metal and folklore: Dauþuz. Their new record Vom Schwarzen Schmied is an exceptional example for this connection!
Dauþuz is Germanic and means nothing less than “Death”. However, the band is not talking about death alone or about strange tales of death or rituals as one might generally imagine when talking about a Black Metal band. The duo connect their songs to tales about the mining tradition of the region (and another mining region in Western Germany) which makes for a very interesting combination. Historically, the mines very often had male choir and some also had bands and therefore one can see the connection to music, to old folklore, to times gone by very clearly. There is a certain point in focusing on such themes as one can learn very much from them. Dauþuz include another element in their music and folklore here: Sometimes they include super-natural elements into their sound and they also do so on Vom Schwarzen Schmied.
The record focuses on the mine blacksmith who has already been included in one of their older songs. The blacksmith accompanies mankind’s evolution from a mining society towards a mechanized age and, ultimately, towards its self-destruction. Just as humans are close to destroying each other, he walks away from their presence with one single ore to destroy everything he saw (and sometimes helped) them built. The helping hand leaves those who in their greed do not see their chosen path leading them to their own end.
Musically, the record is also really rewarding. It features a lot of mellow moments filled with atmospheric lutes and other string instruments predating the guitar. One hears some really well-placed piano or synth-elements that support the structure more than taking any concentration away from them. The string elements are both modern, with Black-Metal-typical arpeggios and swirling riffs, and at the same time early medieval, with slowly developing melodies and a good ear for adding some historicity without sounding like one of the bad Dark Ages bands which one can often come across at Medieval Fairs nowadays.
Vocally, one can clearly see the connection to mining choirs because very often the duo is able to sound like a real choir. Their voices really combine nicely even though they are very different, as are their style of vocals. Sometimes we hear high-pitched screams mixed with some low-baritone clean singing, and this combination plus the choir-like passages when we hear both at the same time delivering clean vocals.
The band sounds like a cross between Mosaic and Ungfell and that is also a good connection as all three bands focus on the history and folklore of times gone by, but in different musical styles with Dauþuz really being the middle between Mosaic’s more acoustic approach and Ungfell’s uncanny Metal version.
Vom Schwarzen Schmied is an exemplary embodiment of how well historical themes (the duo even wears old miners’ clothes during some performances) and modern Atmospherically dense Black Metal can go hand in hand. If you like bands with a certain attitude and aspiration, then this band has released an album that you definitely should not miss! Thuringian folklore in Black minor!