Karwoche (Die Sonne Der Toten Pulsiert)
Review by Michael on October 17, 2023.
Kicking off their new album Karwoche (Die Sonne Der Toten Pulsiert) with 'Sonne Der Toten' German Nocte Obducta did the right thing. Take no prisoners, just hit the listener straight into the face and make no compromises. Some pretty punching and punkish black metal riffs introduce their 13th (!) album and should draw interest from everybody who likes rough black metal without too many keyboards and all that fancy stuff.
Progressing the song, the structures get a little bit more accessible and melodic but the basic atmosphere is kept very aggressive and frosty. Apart from the harsh black metal tunes, vocalists Marcel and Stefan both sound very disgusting and hateful. In total contrast to this song (and others I will come to later in this review) can be seen 'Karwoche', 'Birkenpech' and 'Schwarzbier Und Feigen'. They are kept relatively calm and almost reserved and especially 'Schwarzbier Und Feigen' reminds a little bit of their pretty strange album Sequenzen Einer Wanderung back from 2008. Especially 'Schwarzbier Und Feigen' has these slight Pink Floyd-ish elements sometimes that make the song pretty chilly and relaxing. In addition to this calm atmosphere come the spoken words instead of singing the lyrics and so you can be sure to be calmed down at the end of the record. Well, you might like it or not, it is the same with dark beer and figs. 'Karwoche' also is pretty atmospheric and calm but has these hateful vocals so there isn't too much oriental stuff to find at all. 'Birkenpech' (“birch pitch” - all botanical nerds know how thick and sticky this stuff is) is the perfect title for the song. It is a very doomy song with a lot of passages where nothing too exciting happens. Maybe an aphid can tell a story about it when it accidentally gets trapped in birch pitch and just waits for its time to leave. But as I said before, there are also some faster and much more aggressive songs on it.
'Drei Gemeuchelte Sommer' is such a fantastic song with much rough energy in it – the riffs are super catchy and melodic though and the vocals match perfectly to the sick lyrics dealing with dead bodies and maggots. Most of the time it is a pure, frosty black metal inferno but on the bridge I often have the feeling to get some old Paradise Lost / My Dying Bride vibes in the lead guitar. 'Conamara Chaos' is probably the most chaotic and also the fastest song on Karwoche. This is pure rage paired with some psychedelic keyboard tunes that somehow makes the song perfect for an evil version of “Alice In Wonderland” eating some magic mushrooms. 'Balder' is with its 9 minutes the longest song on the album and in my ears also the song which is most easy to listen to. It has some galloping drums and a very catchy mid-tempo and even when the tempo increases, it still is not too challenging to listen to it if you leave out the part where the tempo is absolutely throttled down and the whole thing sounds more like some dark ambient song. But fortunately this is just a slight disturbing intermezzo (and Nocte Obducta wouldn't be Nocte Obducta if they wouldn't do such a thing just to make it not too easy) and so the song gets into some more organized structures at the end.
I guess that everybody who likes Nocte Obducta will not be disappointed with Karwoche because they added another very good album to their discography. Maybe it is not the best recommendation for the first date or to chill in the bathtub but you will find your moments when it is perfect to listen to it. Maybe while you drink some dark beer and eat figs with your girl on the second date!
Rating: 8.5 out of 10357