We live in a cold, unforgiving world among people who have no empathy and fall victim to stupid conspiracies unleashed on them because they’re gullible. This place can be mean, brutal, downright frustrating to handle on a day-to-day basis, yet what choice do we have? Survival becomes a sort of sinister game we play to prove we won’t fall in front of an inferior foe.
Swiss black metal duo Ernte appear to have harnessed all of that negativity and hate and splattered it into their music, the latest of which is their second full-length album “Albsegen.” Over nine tracks and 50 minutes, the band—vocalist/bassist/violin player Witch N., guitarist/bassist/drummer V. Noir—decimates your nervous system, piling pain and punishment onto you, making you revel in the misery in which we all live. It’s a destructive and punishing display, a steady and virulent follow-up to 2022’s “Geist und Hexerei” that’s smart, fiery, and volcanic, the ideal antidote for dealing with a strained world.
“Albsegen (Intro)” starts feeling like it’s emanating from deep in the universe, illuminating the night sky, bringing doom on the curl of its tail. It feels spooky and unsettling, hissed calls haunting, making your nerves stand on end, paving the way in blackness toward “Phantoms” that burns brightly and carries a channeled pace to start. The shrieks tear open sanity, the stirring playing makes getting your footing impossible, and the jolting just adds to the rockiness. Speed plays a factor as the melodies encircle, the riffs driving hard before the madness fades. “Eye of Oblivion” brings a storming, furious tempo, the shrieks peeling the flesh from your bones. Spacious pockets swallow your psyche, and meaty melodies storm the gates, beastly howls sinking in its teeth and drawing blood. “Vacant Thoughts and Radiant Blackness” churns and bursts, taking its time to do damage, the riffs entangling and piling onto the chaos. The playing trudged and tears apart muscle while the drums decimate, rushing away with power.
“Queen Warrior” drips in before winds sweep up violently, the hellish pace taking its toll. Witch N.’s howls are as beast with which to contend as a mystifying haze covers the sky, continuing toward the worst of fortunes. Shrieks crush as the playing squeezes marrow from bone, its flame slowly extinguished. “Cutting the Stars From the Sky” jars as the shrieks devastate, harsh and numbing playing taking their toll. Somehow things get heavier, the playing leaves blisters, and guitars liquify, illuminating the land before crushing prone bodies. “Chaotic Visions” spirals and drills with power, the playing going cold briefly before the howls rip, and dark melodies pull you under water. The playing ruptures and quakes, mauling as the drums blast and burn off remaining pools of fuel. “Apocalyptical Dissolution” stings right away, the shrieks scraping congealed wounds, stirring and hanging in the air. Guitars wash over and add a meaner attitude, the howls land blows, and moody playing ends the track in desolation. Closer “The Revenge” explodes as Witch N.’s shrieks do ample damage, and the guitar works lathers up into a rage. The leads spindle as the drums crumble with power, the pace hurries, then the heat decimates everything in front of it before fading into time.
There’s an urgency and excitement to Ernte’s style of black metal, and that combines with a nastiness and callousness over the state of the world that makes “Albsegen” such a dangerous listen. Every twist and turn with these nine tracks leaves deep abrasions on your psyche and reminds you of the ugliness lurking outside your door. This isn’t feel-good music, nor should you have expected it to serve that role, and once it’s over, your mental wounds will be throbbing and aching into eternity.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/ernteblackmetal/
To buy the album, go here: https://vendettarecords.bigcartel.com/
For more on the label, go here: https://vendetta-records.com/