Having a connection to one’s home means a lot of different things, be that the fabric of community, the sounds and smells of the surrounding area, and the natural elements that connect with our hearts and brains. For me, Pittsburgh contains all those things, which is why I have chosen to stay here, and even if I were to relocate one day, my roots cannot be unearthed from this place.
For the bulk of their run, German atmospheric black metal band Waldgeflüster have played to the praises of nature, basking in the majesty of the outdoors. But their new record “Dahoam” goes in a bit of a different direction thematically—namely on paying homage to their Northern Bavarian home which band leader Winterherz (vocals guitars, keys, samples) further celebrates by singing in that area’s native tongue. The record also is sort of the mirror side of their “Femundsmarka” album, that pushed away from home and ruminated on ideas and concepts learned while traveling aboard, Winterherz (he is joined by guitarists Dominik Frank and Markus Frey, bassist Avagr, and drummer Thomas Birkmaier), used this music and record searching for one’s soul in the confines of the homeland.
“A Taglachinger Morgen” is a calming opener that is built with acoustic guitars moving, birds chirping, and nature opening fully, pushing into “Im Ebersberger Forst” that runs 10:15, the first of three epics cuts surrounded by quieter, more reflective pieces. Vicious hell is unleashed after the initial serenity as Winterherz’s vocals jam your ribs, and then another wave of calm washes over, with fog spreading and intoxicating. New melodies sneak in as the vocals get cleaner but even bolder, the power rages, and wild cries pound into the night, ending with solemn acoustics. “Am Stoa” bubbles from the earth, the synth spreads, and the woody instrumental soothes your aching muscles, basking in softness and whispers.
“Am Tatzlwurm” rumbles for a healthy 10:47, beginning with acoustic passages and waves lapping, eventually firing up and creating forceful blazing. That increase helps the emotions ride harder, angling through lush strings and bubbling waters, slashing through with Winterherz’s forceful howls. Later, the singing turns to hearty bellows, brief sections of calm are engulfed with chaos, and the band pelts you with force as the song bows out to the rains. “In da Fuizn” rumbles the earth, bringing natural forces and spacious leads as the shrieks hammer away. Hearty singing arrives, guitars keep cutting, and the track disappears into atmosphere. “Mim Blick aufn Kaiser” is the final of the trio of beasts, and it’s the longest one at 11:10. The track is steely and spacey as it launches, bringing a fiery pace that is cooled by the clean singing reaching out, with the shrieks later adding abrasions. Acoustics arrive as chirps and croaks make it feel like you’re navigating a swamp, letting that ambiance spread before the track bustles back, flattening you. The journey rages toward its conclusion, the riffs swirl, and the final moments leave you robbed of breath. “Am Wendelstoa” closes the album with acoustics and folk-styled singing with the guitars adding a gentle haze. Drums are tapped, the vocals reverberate, and things are ushered out quietly, with you resting comfortably in the forest.
Waldgeflüster’s nature-inspired, atmospheric black metal always sounds huge and daring, which continues on “Dahoam,” a record that takes you on a familiar, hearty adventure through the band’s home territory. Sort of like the German version of Panopticon, it’s impossible to walk away from this band’s records without taking on an emotional toll, one you won’t mind facing. This is another rich, cascading record from a band that doesn’t just churn out tracks, they stuff them with genuine heart and emotion you practically can reach out and feel with your hands.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/BlackMetalWaldgefluester
To buy the album, go here: https://shop.aoprecords.de/gb/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.aoprecords.de/