Klabautamann - Der Ort
Heavy Horses Records
Folk/Black Metal
8 songs (47:29)
Release year: 2005
Reviewed by Aaron
Album of the month

I wonder, have you ever walked into a clearing in the center of a forest in the middle, smelled the sweet sun-dried air, watched the natural loveliness of an old place just going about its business around you, and thought “All is right with the world?” And then you trundled back into the canopy of dense foliage and trees, and tripped over a half-empty can of Coca-Cola, and thought “Whoever left that here is a cocksucker?”

Well, whether you have or you haven’t, pick up Klabautamann’s Der Ort, (The Place in German, I think), and you can feel both in the space of eight different songs, all laden with melodic folkish parts and heavier black metal assaults.

The production is… I suppose the best term for it would be deep and varied. It can be crushing, like in the opening title track, or subtle and romanticizing, like in tracks such as Red Urn. The vocals are rather distinctive-sounding, but it’s probably the production again. Guitars have a nice tone and edge to them, and the drums are punchy when need be and subtle when need be. Very nice, overall.

The songwriting could best be compared to the Dissection’s Night’s Blood archetype: acoustic parts that are woven well into the song instead of a jarring transition out of the heaviness (Opeth should be paying attention here) juxtaposed with tremolo black-metal riffing that’s as intricate and technical as the softer parts.

Opeth would be a lazy, if somewhat accurate comparison for some of the weaker songs on this disc, because they lack flow. I just don’t feel that say, Waldschrat flows as well as Forlorn Sea or Der Ort itself does, and that’s the biggest responsibility of a band that relies mostly on light and shade dynamics to paint a musical picture: Making certain that all the parts add up to a certain whole that is neither distant from the individual songs or too obvious in retrospect. Klabautamann pull this off, and do it with stunning ease, except on that one song. Still a good song, but it sounds too much like Opeth.

The best songs on this disc evoke a mood of epic dualism, of inward thought spurred by outward beauty, of a struggle between reason and unreason. They flow like streams babbling contentedly upon stones worn smooth by years and years of erosion. They have riffs as angry as the jutting, angular rocks that stick out of otherwise smooth cliff faces and high mountains. Vocals as harsh as wolves barking and baring their teeth.

In case you don’t get the idea, I suggest you pick this up. It’s not reinventing the wheel, but it’s a damned masterpiece of emotion and expression all the same. Another one on my top fifteen.

Killing Songs :
Der Ort, Forlorn Sea, Red Urn, The Wanderer, October
Aaron quoted 92 / 100
Other albums by Klabautamann that we have reviewed:
Klabautamann - Merkur reviewed by Charles and quoted 88 / 100
Klabautamann - Our Journey Through the Woods reviewed by Alex and quoted 85 / 100
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