The German band Raptvre picked a fantastic song to showcase in the video we’re presenting today. It displays so many of the attention-grabbing qualities that made their 2019 debut album Monuments of Bitterness one to remember (and which caused our own Andy Synn to herald it in a year-end list here at NCS).
The song is “Echokammer“, and the video (beautifully filmed and edited by Noel Auch and Julian Baron of Brainthrill Studio) captures Raptvre‘s performance of the song at the band’s album release show on November 23rd in Cologne.
Lyrically, all of the songs on Monuments of Bitterness are connected to each other and parts of a larger concept. “Echokammer” in particular has a chilling theme, a depiction of sinister entities embracing the echoing whispers of the dead and drawing strength from them, creating bonds that will outlast death itself. Musically, the song interweaves ingredients of dissonant black metal and death metal, together with progressive influences, to create a changing experience that is itself chilling, perilously seductive, and titanically heavy.
The song’s earthshaking low-end power creates perhaps the most immediate impression, thanks to the bone-deep impact of Stefan Braunschmidt‘s bass lines and their body-moving rhythmic interplay with the inventive and physically compulsive drum beats administered by Johannes Kochs. The rhythms and the tempo change as the song unfolds, surging into bursts of blasting mayhem, segueing into bounding gallops and militaristic fusillades, and pounding the listener’s skull like sledgehammers.
Meanwhile, guitarist Kirill Gromada creates a changing array of dissonant and harmonic sounds, infiltrating the song with melodies that are seething and poisonous, haunting and despairing, slithering and sinister, quivering and delirious. A further melodic accent is added through a transfixing saxophone solo by guest performer Hauke Peters that soulfully deepens the music’s mood of suffering and despair at the same time as the rest of the instrumental performers are locked into an irresistible groove.
And to further enrich and intensify an already multi-faceted experience, lead vocalist Thorn joins with Gromada and Braunschmidt to deliver a range of scorching screams, wretched howls, serrated growls, and vicious roars.
A few more details about the band and the album for those who are just discovering both:
Raptvre was born in February 2018 by the afore-mentioned Kirill Gromada (Ayahuasca, Pripjat) and Stefan Braunschmidt (Shitshifter, NVRVD), and grew to include front-man Thorn from the German black metal outfit Necrotic Woods and drummer Johannes Kochs, who has performed with Metasphere and Cypecore.
The album, Monuments of Bitterness, features cover art by the French artist Maxime Taccardi, and it was released on November 22nd by The Crawling Chaos Records. It’s available now on CD and digitally, and we’ve included a full stream of it right after the “Echokammer” video below.