German atmospheric black metal band Unru release their second long-player, Die Wiederkehr des Verdrängten.
Unru began ten years ago in Bielefeld, Germany. The trajectory of their recording career has been a cautious one. The band released a demo and a couple of splits before introducing the world to a full length experience in 2016 with Als Tier ist der Mensch nichts. That album was very well received by the growing cadre of fans, and another split and demo followed in due course. It is an understatement to declare Die Wiederkehr des Verdrängten has been looked forward to for several years but, even after a single listening, I would say it was worth the wait.
There are five long tracks on the album, ranging from five minutes to nearly sixteen minutes in duration. The first one begins in a thick gloom, droning then introducing bewitchingly lyrical vocals. The voices seem at first to be an invitation, but as they go on the tension builds and they start to take on the tang of a warning, or perhaps simply a direct threat. It is a rising tide of dark beauty that builds for nearly eight minutes. The title track follows with a structure that is somewhat more straight-forward, featuring heavy guitar riffs leading to a shift toward a blistering pace and strained, hissing black metal vocals. There is a progression in this song, too, moving in the theatrical direction and laying down dramatic passages.
The remaining songs are all epic-length. Each is its own differential combination of sounds, ideas, and techniques the band has become known for producing. The depth of the artistic expression contained in these compositions is formidable. The composers took the necessary time to ensure that the final version of each piece was precisely what they intended, and their efforts show in the impact the music has on you when you listen. I can imagine hearing these long pieces performed live at a festival like Psycho Las Vegas where you can sit back and absorb it all with no alacrity or haste. This music will mark you beneath your skin. Recommended.
Die Wiederkehr des Verdrängten is out now through Babylon Doom Cult Records in CD and digital, with vinyl to follow.
Babylon Doom Cult Records, https://www.babylondoomcultrecords.com/
© Wayne Edwards. All rights reserved.