Einblick In Den Qualenfall

From the underrated German black metal scene and rising Van label comes a ritualistic, ambient black metal outfit consisting of two members of the far more primal outfit, Graupel.

With a tangible influence of The Ruins of Beverast in the plodding, moody tones and to these ears, a hint of Summoning in the deliberate percussion, Verdunkeln (meaning ‘to darken’) is a solid, if overdrawn affair (the songs range from 6 -17 minutes) that will appeal to fans of the burgeoning atmospheric /ambient black metal genre.

With a thicker than usual production, especially in the rhythm section, Verdunkeln rasp, whisoer, wail, mope and lope through 6 lengthy tracks of blackened doomy despondency, with the only the very occasional injection of urgency. The thing is it never really becomes transcendental or truly bores into your psyche as The Ruins of Beverast. The ambient elements seem an afterthought, and the atmosphere is never as suffocating as their peers. In the albums later stages the pace of the virtually doom styled gait becomes more of a bore than a journey into despondent realms.

Luckily, the second track, “Im Zweispalt”, at 15 minutes is the albums highlight with the most oppressive hues and despondent atmosphere of the album, but unfortunately its followed by the awkward stomping gait of “Der Quell”, which really breaks up the mood, as does the initial pace of next track, “Die Saat Der Klinge”, but it does eventually veer into a pretty crushing doom styled lurch. And that’s about where my attention wanes. The 17-minute “De Herrscher” mixes wandering and whispers with a few more not quite so well done mid paced passages before waning to a more expected ambience plod in its final few minutes.

The ending chant of closer “Auf Freiem Felde”, cements comparisons to The Ruins of Beverast and Summoning, but as of right now Verdunkeln are a little ways from that level of brilliance, but this sis still a release to check out for fans of this style.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
January 11th, 2008


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