“Fierce” and “frigid” are by-words of Nordic black metal, and in their debut album Wintergedanken the German black metal duo Tyakrah have embraced the cold and unforgiving white-outs of winter in forested and craggy northern climes. But their music is also solemn, and also glorious — achieving the kind of reverent and soaring spirit that justifies that well-worn term “epic”.
Wintergedanken will be co-released by the Russian label Satanath Records and the U.S. label Slaughterhouse Records on October 21. It consists of four songs interspersed with three instrumental pieces that begin, end, and divide the album in the middle. Today we present the first track that appears after the opening instrumental, a song called “Gefrorne Tränen“.
In a genre that is so often thought of as harsh and heartless, the lead guitar performances that appear and reappear throughout this song peal, echo, swirl, and soar in displays of inspiring and even breathtaking beauty, sometimes as gleaming and crystalline as ice and sometimes a blaze of incandescence. Yet, their appeal is made even more dramatic and powerful by the abrasiveness and wintry bleakness of the music and the voices that provide the setting for them.
Slow, stalking, and chilling at first, the drumming and the anchoring riffs become hard-punching, though still cold, and the vocalist’s venomous rasps and snarls manifest the ferocity of mountain wolves. More than once, a different (and addictive) thumping drum drive provides the foundation for those wonderful displays of guitar soloing, as do raking riffs and long, grand chords. As mentioned, there is also reverence in the music, a solemnity and grimness reflected in part by the appearance of somber clean vocals.
I would think it’s impossible not to be moved by this multifaceted song. It has stayed with me, and has become a kind of refuge as well.
Wintergedanken is a due on October 21. Ordering information can be found through the following links. And lest you think “Gefrorne Tränen” is a fluke, I’ve also included a stream of the previously released title track, which is also amazing.
Tyakrah on Facebook:
01. Praeludium – Auf kalten Wegen
02. Gefrorne Tränen
04. Interludium – Eisige Andacht
05. Fährten im Schnee
06. Erstarrende Nacht
07. Postludium – Ende des Weges
Length – 37:22