Semen Datura - Einsamkeit
Progressive Black Metal
10 songs (44:53)
Release year: 2009
Semen Datura, ATMF
Reviewed by Goat
Surprise of the month

One of those bands that simply begs a double-take and immediately causes concern about just what all those German words mean, Semen Datura play a form of Black Metal that infuses the dark riffing with a notable Progressive stance. Their odd name is the only bad thing about them; riffs are melodic, drumming is complex (apparently performed by the Jazz-trained AXT, which is more than believable) there are neoclassical interludes and the whole thing would feel like some strange dream were it not for the sheer catchiness of certain sections. Melancholic without being depressive, Einsamkeit simply reeks of quality. The dark hypnotic psychedelia of the title track, the flashes of recent Enslaved on Unter Bleigrauen Wolkenlasten and Arkona, a weird, groovy Tool-gone-Doom-jamming-with-Neurosis intro to Mental Outlaw that turns violent without warning, before slowing down again with spoken word sections – this is Black Metal for those who appreciate the genre at its most leftfield, and whilst never as out-there as say, Solefald, Semen Datura nonetheless take a delight in enveloping the listener with a variety of styles over the course of Einsamkeit.

The biggest surprise is that it works, completely and utterly. Jazz noodling fits alongside the Satyricon-esque groove and hateful gang shouts of Marschbefehl without once feeling out of place, for example, the compositional effort tremendous. You’re as likely to be headbanging to the riffage of Pyschokrieg and the oddly Krieg Witwenmachev as you are to be travelling along astral plains, fuelled by the ambient riffs of Ritke Stadt. Obviously, I’m impressed as hell with this; it’s rare for Black Metal to retain its rawness and so confidently experiment, but Semen Datura have done it here with style – any album that can incorporate both the atmospheric and the headbanging deserves praise, the last Shining doing that well. Little more I can say about this – highly impressive stuff, and sure to interest anyone with an interest in Black Metal that goes beyond Dimmu Borgir.

Killing Songs :
Unter Bleigrauen Wolkenlasten, Mental Outlaw, Marschbefehl, Psychokrieg
Goat quoted 85 / 100
Alex quoted 86 / 100
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There are 6 replies to this review. Last one on Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:24 pm
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