Königreichssaal - Witnessing the Dearth (2020)Release ID: 26728

Königreichssaal - Witnessing the Dearth (2020) Cover
UnhinderedbyTalent UnhinderedbyTalent / April 26, 2021 / Comments 0 / 0

Königreichssaal occupy a niche in black metal, that although not necessarily an untrodden path is still a passage in which they leave firm footprints as they trudge on through. Here be references to equal part doom against equal part black metal. Equal part Cultes Des Ghoules against equal part dark cabaret.

Strong use of ritualistic spoken word is littered throughout the album and they are clearly artists who like to build atmospheres and draw out their impact, unafraid to use protracted track lengths in amongst shorter tales of putrid existence. Within this record you will hear choral verses, sang in hushed and nefarious tones. The threat of harm or at least an exploration of motives for harm never feels too far away here and this is one of the key successes of the band. This near constant menace and dark mystique embeds a real sense of foreboding.

The band use atmospheres to genuine build effect, often making the tension unbearable, agonizing sometimes in fact. Yet at the same time there is a beauty in this darkness, the glimpse of an ethereal and ghostly white face undulating through the murk. In the times of the slow tempos there exists still an urgency for the record to ignore this balancing act and still use the sheer compulsion of the record to push forward its grim and unrelenting traipse.

Königreichssaal lurch their way through seven hellish performances, keeping their heads immersed in the constant shroud of misery they emit throughout. Playing the occasional mind game along the way they have a distinct penchant for bring the uneasy ramblings of Mayhem and playing them off the most tortuous and repetitive structures you will hear for a long while. This brilliant combination of doom and black metal looms nicely throughout the album.

Yet, despite this menace and sense of dread, I never feel like the threat entirely comes to fruition. For every drawn-out moment of black metal tension, I need a crushing riff or ghastly howl just to emphasize the depth of the record. It all somehow ends up feeling a little too clean overall for me to ever feel like this threat is fully realized. Maybe that is part of the cleverness of the album, and it sets up nicely a harrowing and soul-destroying sophomore by never quite getting to the unstable heights of insanity on this outing. Guess I will have to wait to find out.


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Witnessing the Dearth
The North
Black Metal

Black Metal (conventional)

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Königreichssaal chronology

Witnessing the Dearth (2020)