Artist: Schwarzer Engel
Title: In brennenden Himmeln
Genre: Dark/ Gothic Metal
Release Date: 26th July 2013
Label: Massacre Records
It’s a bit hard to start writing a review after a long break and with my luck the first CD turned to be a new album of one of my favourite artists SCHWARZER ENGEL. The project was founded in 2007 by multi-talented musician Dave Jason who actually carries out the whole thing: from vocals to orchestral arrangements. But for live shows some excellent musicians join the formation. The debut album ‘Apokalypse’ appeared in 2010 and was highly appreciated by the audience. A bit later there came ‘Träume einer Nacht’ and now the third full-length album ‘In brennenden Himmeln’. Among those who influenced SCHWARZER ENGEL, there were mentioned such cult bands as CRADLE OF FILTH and DIMMU BORGIR. Maybe initially the inspiration was urged by them but it’s hard to feel that influence as SCHWARZER ENGEL is absolutely original and unique act.
To describe the new creation ‘In brennenden Himmeln’, only one word will be enough: it’s amazing. When you like the whole album it’s not too easy to say what’s so good or interesting or significant you notice: from cool guitar parts in ‘Der Untergang’ and chorus in ‘Rache’ to how the word “horizont” sounds in ‘Schwarze Sonne’. If seriously the album itself is a versatile, complete and undiluted work when all songs step by step create a peculiar realm with flaming heaven. Besides each composition separately disclose its own story. The title song which opens the record immediately carries the listener away into a slightly sinister but captivating world of fire and chaos with black birds circling in the burning sky: impressive anti-utopia with its dark aesthetics that progresses and flows into the other track. Powerful guitars, catchy chorus, interesting combinations of ‘Der Untergang’ attract straight away.
In general I don’t like extreme vocals but it’s always possible to make an exception for this album in particular. As for the lyrics everything is in German. The language suits for such style perfectly. The main subjects obviously are death, revenge, hatred, fire - pretty simple but there’s no reason for complicated lyrics with pompous descriptions when the music already expresses everything necessary. So after dynamic ‘Auf in den Kampf’ there comes a bit medieval, a bit pensive but magnificent ‘Der Fährmann’ reminding of a sombre counting-out rhyme. The song ends suddenly when you just start enjoying and gives place to the beautiful piano part of ‘Hymne für den Tod’. The composition may seem somewhat rigorous and cold and at the same bombastic to some extent. Yet the hymn to death just can’t be different. Actually all the pomposity that can be found in the songs, art work and just surrounds SCHWARZER ENGEL may seem affected at first but in some time everything becomes natural and balanced and shows a precise and vivid image of the black angel.
The hot and tense atmosphere of ‘Feuer mit Feuer’ prepares ground for ‘Psycho-Path’. The mood of this piece reminds a bit of early OOMPH!, very early and may become a soundtrack for some computer game. Vigorous ‘Rache’ and high-flown ‘Im Schatten des Todes’ are just among my favourite compositions. Oh, ‘Schwarze Sonne’ and needless to say anything else, simply immerse into the music. Is it too gloomy? Everything depends on how many shades of black you can imagine. The gloomiest one must be ‘Krähenzeit’ with great drums: excellent conclusion for the whole album and then a pleasant bonus ‘Verneinen’. All in all we have almost an hour of wonderful sound for all lovers of good high-quality music. But no need to take it on trust, just check the album out.
01. In brennenden Himmeln – 3:45
02. Der Untergang – 4:26
03. Auf in den Kampf – 3:45
04. Der Fährmann – 4:02
05. Hymne für den Tod – 4:06
06. Feuer mit Feuer – 4:26
07. Psycho-Path – 3:57
08. Grenzenlos – 4:02
09. Rache – 3:31
10. Im Schatten des Todes – 3:54
11. Drachen Über Eden – 3:41
12. Schwarze Sonne (feat. Johanna von Orleans) – 4:39
13. Krähenzeit – 4:38
14. Verneinen – 3:38
Dave Jason – Vocals, Guitars, Drums, Composition & Orchestral Arrangements
Jens Lindmaier – E-Guitar (live)
Stefan Grießhammer – E-Guitar (live)
Bert Oeler – Bass (live)
Marcel Woitowicz – Drums (live)
https://schwarzerengel.info/ / https://www.facebook.com/schwarzerengelband
Total: 10 / 10