Der Erde Entwachsen (Gewollte Wunden)
2007, Independent Release
Kerbenok, "Der Erde Entwachsen (Gewollte Wunden)"
3-song EP from this German pagan/black metal outfit, but two of the songs are over 8 minutes long, so you actually get a fair amount of music for an EP. Hell, I've heard full length grindcore albums that were shorter. "Das Kalte Feuer" opens the proceedings, with a nice acoustic part at the beginning before kicking into the black metal. The production is a bit raw, a bit thin on purpose, but quite listenable. All the songs are in German, and I'm sorry to say my Deutsch isn't up to the task of translating anything. Nature does seem to be a favorite topic, though.
As far as the black metal goes, Kerbenok play more of an epic style, without too much blasting or high speed tremolo picking. And they'll drop out of the black metal on a dime (6:22 of "Das Kalte Feurer") for some tasty clean guitar parts with a little flute in the background... nice! It's a cliché to say that Germans are efficient at everything they turn their hands to, but it's all too true here. The title track is a bit more ferocious than the opener, with some nice gongs in the background during the trance-like middle passage. Vocals are somewhere between screeching and growling, but with clear enunciation. "Der Fall" starts off with a cool drum/piano build, adding chanting and more piano as it starts to take off, and the chanting crops up here and there later. "Der Fall" slows way down about halfway through, with some tremolo picking on top of slower parts (something I've always liked) before kicking back into the up-tempo metal. Then around the six minute mark they change it up again, guitar, drums and flute taking over, an interesting contrast that closes out the song, and the album.
I like bands like this; they're good at the black metal, and good at the other genres they toss into the mix. The contrasts in the different musical styles certainly keep my ears interested, and I'm looking forward to hearing more.S.Gregory