Teufel Und Pest
Review by Felix on September 14, 2023.
Teufel Und Pest marks the second part of Ex Umbra In Solem and does not only deliver another stylish, stage-setting artwork. The eyecatcher is complemented by some fantastic “earcatchers”. In other words, Teufel Und Pest makes up for what was a little lacking in the first part. It scores with three magical, perfect tracks. They once again prove evidence for an already well-known fact: whenever Baptist is kissed by the muse, absolutely great things are created. So we will not waste time, let’s talk about these immaculate trio.
'Augen Weiß Wie Schnee' stands in the centre of the demo and due to its heavy yet melancholic verses, it delivers some great vibes which were missing on the more brutal first part of the four-pack. The song’s approach is emblematic for the more differentiated vibes of these ten tracks. This somehow mystic combination of brutality and wistfulness is the best possible partner for the cryptic tales that Baptist tells about snow-covered mountains, strange creatures, malicious monarchs and his longing for death, coupled with hatred for this life and this world. 'Ein Thron Aus Fleisch Und Blut' is the outstanding high velocity piece. It welcomes the listener at the beginning of the demo and its menacing, vortex-like main guitar line draws the consumer into Mavorim’s sound cosmos both violently and irresistibly. The ingenious chorus and an opening, additional guitar line after the second verse catapult this track into the highest regions of perfection. Maybe it is very Teutonic, but I love it. Between these two monuments walks the title track – bowed with grief, head down, aware of its own tragedy. Its stoic march into the grave, based on an excellent riff, is impressive and creepy. The keyboards add some atmospheric tones, before the track explodes into a fast-paced, double-bass driven rocket. Absolutely fanatic, fantastic and frenetic.
Although these tracks remain unreached, the further pieces enrich the release as well. For example, 'Das Licht' mixes heavy outbursts with a Viking metal guitar line in the instrumental part. 'Zugellöse Raserei' starts with a very good flow and mutates into a fast-moving ode to fornication. No doubt, each and every of the seven fully equipped songs mirrors the creative force of the spiritual father. And the three non-metal pieces? Well, they are pretty short and honestly speaking, that’s okay. My appetite for ambient intermezzos isn’t very big. The instrumentals are not annoying and perhaps they make sense in the overall concept of the material. To me they sound like the music I expect on a fairy tale tape for children, but that’s no harsh criticism, only a description of the state. Even these pieces have a certain charm.
The production is neither better nor worse than that of part I of the demo release, but time works for the artist. Yes, the voice should be a little more in the foreground. Nevertheless, I am already convinced that this wayward and rude reduced-to-the-essentials-sound is an almost perfect match for the unadulterated and unpolished material. By the way, do not understand “primitive” when reading “unadulterated and unpolished”. Baptist has spent enough, but not indiscriminate breaks on the songs. It may sound like a contradiction in terms, but all the tracks have a high degree of musical liveliness despite their fatalistic underlying mood. Furthermore, his variable vocals (mostly malicious nagging, exceptionally clear singing) have nothing in common with primitiveness.
Perhaps not every (black) metal fan grasps the extraordinary class of this band. Anything is possible in a world that lets bunglers like Sabaton or Manowar off the stage without having rotten eggs or tomatoes thrown at them by the audience. Okay, maybe that's just as well. After all, you shouldn't let food spoil. But if it does happen, throw them at the right people – and enjoy really good, atmospheric and expressive music. Mavorim makes an offer that is hard to refuse, not only on this glorious song collection called Teufel Und Pest which sets the bar very high for the subsequent parts of the demos.
Rating: 8.8 out of 10768