Adversus - Winter, so unsagbar Winter (2002) - A piece of art you have never seen before - 96% (01/06/11)
Adverus is a band that doesn't sound like anything else. Their sound is very intellectual, diversified and sometimes almost schizophrenic. The band is mostly influenced by the Gothic genre with its dark and emotional lyrics, its harmonic male vocals, agressive male growls, operatic female vocals, classic and symphonic choirs and dark narrative passages. If you don't like Gothic stuff, you can already stop reading here.
Musically, electronical elements dominate most of the songs and there is a big influence from the Dark Wave genre. This style is mixed with symphonic and operatic passages and calm piano melodies or narrative passages on one side. On the other side, many songs suddenly explode, have fast and thrashy passages and death metal vocals with shredding riffs and pumping electronic beats. Sometimes, the bands adds other instruments to the sound such as pipers or violins which gives a slightly medieval touch to the sound without getting lost in poetic kitsch tales about knights, dragons and forbidden romances. Even though the music is extreme, this album is perfect for Dark Wave clubs and Gothic festivals and you can at least dance along to this crazy stuff with some beautiful Gothic chicks if you don't care about the lyrical concept or the complicated music.
The lyrics are very confusing and abstract but at the same time very emotional and personal. Adversus create what I would call the soundtrack of a schizophrenic mind. This band is completely unpredictable, highly emotive and extreme in every sense of the word. There is nothing this band doesn't try out and they don't have any limits. Nevertheless, the concept of the album is always respected as it turns around the winter. That doesn't only mean that the band sings about landscapes and dark tales, but the winter symbolism is also transfered to a certain state of mind and emotion of a human being. Fragile existences, schizophrenic thoughts, isolation, loneliness and suicide are reoccuring topics on this record. The whole thing is mixed with poetry, mythology and ancient legends. The lyrics can be interpretated on many different levels and it often takes some time to truly understand them.When you listen to this band, the lyrics are always very poetic and emotional and there are many quotations of famous cultural pieces of litterature. This diversity seems to be overwhelming in the beginning but the band members have a perfectionist vein and know how to merge all those differents aspects to a perfect and fitting signature melting pot.
The artistic side of the band is very important and a part of the well chosen and elaborated lyrics this also fits to the cover artworks, beautiful booklets and the mixture of exotic instruments. Adverus create more than just music, they create a very progressive, open minded and unique piece of art that has a very special place in my collection. Expect the unexpected and open your mind to get an approach to it. It may take some time but it's worth it. If some would ask me to name a similar band, I would probably go for the Canadian avant-garde metal band "UneXpect" but they still don't do the samething at all.
It's difficult to point any song out on this record as the concept album works as a whole structure and piece of art. A good and very diversified track that represents the whole world of Adversus is probably "Dämon, allzutief in dir" and maybe also the more structured but quite entertaining and diversified "Klingentanz". You should check those two songs out in the beginning. If you happen to like good dark wave and electronic music and the gothic music and lifestyle, you will also adore the rather simply constructed "Seelenwinter" or the more chaotic "Katharsis" as well as the probably catchiest song on the record which is "Unser beider Babylon". If you like some more agressive and dirtier stuff, you may be satisfied with "Mein Hass treibt Nadeln" or the extreme interlude "Wie klingt dein Herz von innen". For the more romantic and soft hearted people, there is the rather calm and beautiful piece "Des Regens Kälte" that is convincing a part of some atmospheric interludes.
In the end, I think that this band offers something for every taste even if they may probably not please to any public in particular. The band's sound is so open minded and rich and there is so much to discover that I could write a whole book about it. This band has a vision and already creates a completely unique style right from the beginning on with their first album. This band truly innovates and sounds like nobody else more than three decades after the beginning of heavy metal. That's an admirable and rare quality nowadays. I think that this band should get more attention in the metal universe. I know that thsi weird band won't get an international breakthrough but if I had to chose the future sound of metal music, this band would play an important role in it. But as long as all those boring "Saxons" and "Manowars" exist that live in the past and fight for rusty ideals, there is no place for a band like this and only a couple of persons that look really hard may discover this band and I hope that my review might help them to get an approach to something completely new that they might appreciate one day after a first shocking confrontation.« Marienbad - Werk 1 - Nachtfall (2011) - Dark tales in a unique and heavy radicalism - 85% (31/05/11)Alestorm - Captain Morgan's Revenge (2008) - Music from and for alcoholics and party animals - 68% (04/06/11) »