Der Rote Milan
Moritat

Der Rote Milan is a black metal band from Germany that has couple of members of solid death metal band Ichor in its ranks, so I thought their second effort, Moritat was worth a look, especially seeing as the version I got for review was packaged in a  pretty cool deluxe A5 digibook format with the CD attached to the back in a sleeve. However, the music isn’t quite as memorable as the packaging.

The 6 song 4 minute effort is a decent effort of modern, crisp, clean slight melodic, atmospheric black metal with some depressive and experimental elements but none of it truly stands out. From opener “Die Habsucht” with its introductory acoustics and flute which careens into some sharp melodic blistering throes to the 12 minute closing title track, everything is competent and tight. The pained vocals of ‘III’ (Eric Kuhnen of Ichor) are a highlight of the material with an array of shouts shrieks howls and growls. The guitars are crisp and tight and the rhythm section is more prominent then most black metal.

But not much of the songs really jumps out. second number “Drohende Schatten” is a straight forward black metal number, and third track the almost 8 minute “Gnosis der Vergänglichkeit” sees things morph into a slow acoustic atmospheric burn for its first few minutes and unfurl into a depressive meander for the rest of the number that never goes anywhere. “Der letzte Galgen” picks the pace back up a bit after an initial lull, with some slick, frosty melodic tremolo picked riffage, but it keeps getting interrupted by more mopey depressive pacing and acoustic plodding.

The final 2 tracks, “Der Findling” and the mammoth closing title track deliver more of the same; solid some times even promising black metal outbursts mired in rather bland mid paced and more controlled, somber atmospherics and moody plodding. That said, about halfway through he closing track, there’s a nice transition to a menacing  double bass march that unfortunately doesn’t go anywhere for the next half of the song, even with some more urgent blasting. And that’s kinda the whole mantra for the album, some promising bits and some unfulfilled meandering that results in a black metal album that just ‘there’, and nothing to really write home about.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
May 30th, 2019

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