Geist - Galeere
Lupus Lounge
Black Metal
5 songs (51:10)
Release year: 2009
Geist, Lupus Lounge
Reviewed by Goat

The various Black Metal bands that form the German underground have come under the spotlight recently from excellent label Lupus Lounge (as part of Prophecy Productions) and the latest to receive attention are six-piece Geïst, here on album number three. Playing a style of Progressive Black Metal that will be familiar to anyone who’s heard recent efforts by Enslaved, Geïst have their own take on the sound – as you can see from the wonderfully dark and stormy artwork, this takes a much more atmospheric guise, and the frequent bursts of ambience help to give Galeere life.

Not that it lacks life. The more Black Metal aspects of Geïst’s sound are extremely well-performed, the melodic ventures of Einen Winter Auf See especially, touching Folk in their meandering drive before turning epic at the end. There isn’t a song on the album that’s under eight minutes long, the longest coming in at a mighty fifteen, and so Galeere takes time and patience to fathom. Mostly driving onwards at a mid-paced crawl, moments of Durch Lichtose Tiefen especially take the music up to higher speeds, giving the Black Metal a faint suggestion of a sea-shanty, and the ambient gloops and swirls that open and close most tracks hint too at an oceanic theme. It’s not quite in the same realm as IsisOceanic , the music never expressly sounds like the sea, but there are suggestions that get more clear the more you listen.

Surprisingly, it’s not all atmospheric. Helike is driven by the often-catchy guitar riffs and has more of a Pagan Metal feel overall, whilst the epic closing track Unter Toten Kapitänen may take longer to build up, with frenzied German muttering suddenly changing to mid-paced melancholia. It takes a strangely Rock style at times, elevating it above the dirgefest I was expecting, and providing a hypnotic finale to the album.

Galeere ultimately isn’t a perfect album, but it does have a great deal to recommend it. The band have clearly taken several steps away from tradition, but it is undeniably Black Metal; this is one sea voyage that few will dare undertake, although the rewards are many.

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Killing Songs :
Galeere, Helike, Unter Toten Kapitänen
Goat quoted 78 / 100
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