Aussichtslos - Official Website


Schicksalstotschlag

Austria Country of Origin: Austria

1. Am Hohen Ross
2. Verwoben
3. Im Schützengraben
4. Brachland
5. Schicksalstotschlag
6. Infektion
7. Ein Stück
8. Gotteswahn
9. Hochverrat


Review by Felix on June 2, 2024.

I like the program and the diligence of Germany’s Purity Through Fire label. But this does not mean that they are perfect. Okay, this should be a matter of preference of course, because we all know that nobody is perfect except my local butcher who sells these fantastic meatballs. But that’s just an aside. So let’s get to the 99.9% of mankind who are not perfect. Aussichtslos represent the defectiveness of this overwhelming majority. They are not alone in this, but here we have to focus on the crudely titled Schicksalstotschlag, a word that does not exist in the German language. We know “Schicksalsschlag” (stroke of fate), but this term was seemingly too weak for the Austrians and so they added “tot” in the centre of the word. So now we have a kind of “deadly stroke of fate”, okay… Seems to be a black metal pun.

Aussichtslos are offering their third album and the first thing that triggers me are the vocals. The lead vocals are always close to hysteria and they sound very affected, pretty shrill and not natural in any way. Of course, clean vocal is no wide spread tool in black metal, but this voice of the guy at the microphone is simply feeble and does not reflect the force black metal should possess. Anyhow, let’s praise his shrieks. Compared with the somehow medieval and totally miserable choir in 'Im Schützengraben' and (not much better) in 'Gotteswahn', the lead vocals are pure gold. But let’s try to forget the bitter taste the vocals leave. In terms of the musical offering, we can find some positive aspects. Aussichtslos do not bore with primitive, monotonous or one-dimensional song structures. The songs can be inhaled quickly without lacking variation and this fact definitely indicates the talent of the trio. Okay, the tracks are not very catchy, but a few good sections keep sticking in my brain right from the first listening session. Especially 'Infektion' convinces in this respect. Its best part starts at 2:03 and reflects isolation and despair. 

The band presents a new drummer and this guy is also responsible for the synths. Interesting combination, but honestly speaking, the latter lives the life of an outsider here. The guitars dominate over the entire runtime of the album and this might be the explanation why it does not fascinate with a very atmospheric approach. From time to time they convey rather a rocking touch than a black metal feeling. 'Hochverrat', the closer, illustrates this most clearly. But this seems to be part of the game of Aussichtslos, because the promo speaks about “oft-hard-rocking black metal”. But it also babbles about “steely-eyed pride”, “battle-charging bombast” and “biergarten” (!), so I thought the whole information is a joke… Anyway, it also tells us that 'Hochverrat' is the best track of the band up to date. From my point of view, it is just longer than the rest, but maybe I just did not understand its outstanding excellence.

All in all, Schicksalstotschlag does not completely fall through the net. It does not lack authenticity, the compositions are solid, the production meets the international standards of 2024 and maybe it’s just my personal taste that makes it impossible for me to describe the vocals with positive attributes. Yet it is also true that the black metal scene, perhaps the most proliferating metal community, offers many extremely good albums. Compared with them, this work has to take a seat in the second or third row.

Rating: 6 out of 10

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