Quälen, Zerreissen, Vernichten
Review by Felix on May 8, 2023.
The philanthropically titled Quälen, Zerreißen, Vernichten (“Torture, Tear Apart, Destroy”) is the first quarter of Mavorim’s demo collection. The entire package shows a different facet of the (more or less) one man project. Not in terms of the musical approach, but with regard to the production. The regular albums of Baptist are based on a warm, smooth yet somehow vile production. The sound of Quälen, Zerreißen, Vernichten shows its demo character. It is raw and anti-professional yet equipped with the coarse charm of the underground. I must admit that I needed a short while to get used to it. But now I am fine with the mix, because it still has enough inner strength to bring the song-writer talent of Baptist into its own. And if anyone has been kind enough to read a Mavorim review of mine before, it probably hasn't escaped their notice that I attest to his exceptional talent.
As different as the production is, the music and the lyrics are very similar to that of Baptist’s regular albums. Okay, sometimes his messages are barely understandable, because his voice has to struggle in order to be heard loud and clear. It is drowned out by the guitar. But who cares, the vocal performance is able to deliver the insidious, sometimes cynical element that characterizes the musical vibes of Mavorim. By the way, it’s a pretty stormy music that awaits the listener. Vehement high speed sections are dominating broad parts of the demo and maybe I should mention here that I don't understand why currently Mavorim's style is listed as "Black Metal / Ambient" on this site. Okay, intro and outro consist of spherical sounds, but they account for less than 10% of the 43 minutes material. Anyway, my always very generous mind does not want to be too picky or overly academic… Fact is that Mavorim vary the tempo in the regular songs cleverly. 'Hort Der Seligkeit', for instance, holds rumbling fast-paced sections, but also an almost relaxed opening part. The latter features the most catchy riff of “Ex Umbra In Solem” Part I. It’s a simple one, no doubt about it, but simultaneously a very good one.
The six tracks between intro and outro are opulently designed, but their average length of more than six minutes results in neither boredom nor confusion. Baptist has crafted clever arrangements for each and every track. Well, maybe it is true that we do not find a perfect song here, something we get presented on every of his regular albums. (“Die Andere Seite Deines Traumes” is the one on his new work which will be released in two weeks.) But it is not only 'Verhallt In Dunkelheit' which shines with very unleashed and mighty parts. No song hurts the flow of this demo and there is no break in the six songs which appears inappropriate. Moreover, the contribution of the keyboard is not intrusive, but also no end in itself. This is how it should be, if I am not mistaken.
Euphemistically, one might say that Quälen, Zerreißen, Vernichten marks the perfect beginning for this demo(nic) package, because on the one hand, it delivers good music, but on the other hand, it leaves room for optimization. Non-euphemistically, this demo recording is able to beat some regular recordings of the competition into perdition (read: YMCA hostel). Already the wild, quite fantastic opener 'Im Angesicht Der Endlichkeit' indicates this. Both its tumultuous and more controlled parts hit the mark excellently. The stylish artwork, I guess the eagle is enthroned on a war memorial, makes the whole thing complete. Summing up, I am not totally blown away, but I cannot identify serious deficits as well and especially those of you who think that the band sounds too polished on its “normal” full-lengths (In confidence: a misjudgement) should give Mavorim a second chance.
Rating: 7.6 out of 10418