Bernth, Elevation (2021)

YouTube guitar virtuoso Bernth releases his first solo instrumental metal album, Elevation.

Bernth is Bernd Brodträger, a well-known guitarist who has played for many bands and done a lot of studio work. He has become extremely well known due to the popularity of his YouTube channel. His background is firmly rooted in extreme and heavy metal, and he can play absolutely anything on guitar.

I started listening to instrumental rock guitar back at the beginning of my musical interest when I heard Frank Zappa’s Shut Up ’N Play Yer Guitar. Zappa became my favorite guitarist then and he will always be my favorite. It’s a formative thing. Hearing Zappa perked my ears up to other instrumental guitar, and the next one I heard that made a big impact on me was Joe Satriani’s Surfing With The Alien. It blew my mind. And then Steve Vai (because he had played for Zappa).

So, since way back then I am looking out for metal and rock instrumental music. The new Bernth album is right up my alley. The playing is unassailably impeccable and practically unbelievable. There is no question that Bernth rises above any standard you’d care to set.

Pick any track from the nine on the new album and listen in amazement. Both electric and acoustic (mostly electric) music, at times delivered at astonishing speed. But of course it is not all about the speed. There are infectious melodies and memorable riffs along with the ravaging lead work. Since it is all instrumental music the guitar does the singing, too, and truly I don’t miss the lyrics or voice at all. The variety of the music keeps you interested and engaged throughout. It is a lot of guitar, of course, so you have to be wanting that to listen in. If that is you then don’t let this one pass by. Recommended.

Elevation is out tomorrow, May 14th. If you hit the Bernth store link below you’ll find many bundles of music and merch.

Links.

Bernth store, https://bernth.myshopify.com/

YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/user/Bernthguitar

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/bernthofficial

Bernth website, https://www.bernth.at/

Bernth, Elevation (2021)

Transilvania, Of Sleep And Death (Invictus Productions 2021)

The second full-length album from Transilvania is an epic world shaker, filled with monstrous ideas and otherworldly conclusions.

From Innsbruck, Austria, the Black Metal band Transilvania has been around since 2015. The Metal Archives lists the members as P. Čachtice (bass and vocals), H. Paole Grando (drums), O. von Schwarzenberg (guitar), and D. D. Stumpp (guitar). There is not an enormous amount of free floating information out there about them, apart from their discography that shows The Night Of Nights LP from 2018, and before that an EP and a split. The musical style is fast-paced Black Metal, bearing on the speed and even the thrash side.

“Opus Morbi” leads us down the haunting path with a reassuring (although clearly sinister) opening gambit of distant tones that grow into a fierce attack by the three minute mark. Throughout the album there are plenty of riffs that hang a tight groove, as in the title track, to go along with the eerier elements. Clever syncopation and unusual tempo shifting like we hear on “Lycanthropic Chant” enriches the Black Metal environment and fills in the dark world developing around your ears.

The inventiveness and ingenuity of composition knows no bounds on this album. The music relies on rhythm and a well-paced, expertly situated harmony of the instruments to propel the concepts forward in support of the lyrical narrative. Lead breaks in the traditional sense are used sparingly, like a flashing scene of violence or depravity. More often we hear companion components from the guitars bolstering the vocals and other instruments in the overall experience. The album is powerful – a premier exemplar of the form. Highly recommended.

Of Sleep And Death is out now. Invictus has all manner of formats for this album, plus a variety of merch. Bandcamp offers a digital download at your fingertips. And you can also hear a lot of Transilvania’s music on Spotify.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://transilvania.bandcamp.com/album/of-sleep-and-death

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/transilvaniaaustria/

Invictus Productions, https://invictusproductions.net/

Transilvania, Of Sleep And Death (Invictus Productions 2021)