A bit more than a year after the release of their debut album Geist und Hexerei, and the release of a 7” EP in September 2022, the Hellvetic black metal duo Ernte are returning with a new album named Albsegen, and it confirms this band’s talents as formidable spellcasters. As forecast by Vendetta Records, which will release the record on April 7th, it “captures real world hate and frustration while calling back to a distant past with an invoking of old energies and spirits”.
This Swiss duo — V. Noir (guitars, bass, drums) and Witch N. (vocals, bass, violin) — have hit upon a formulation of black metal that’s atmospheric and immersive, creating nightside experiences of mysticism and old magic, but they also simultaneously give their songs visceral punch and mind-scarring intensity. Their music can be disorienting, depressive, unsettling, and even deranged, but it’s still very easy to fall prey to the music’s unearthly sorcery.
One song-and-video has already emerged into our consciousness, and today we present a second one, which give us a chance to see the performers doing their thing.
“Cutting the Stars From the Sky” is an evocative title, and the music proves to be evocative as well, creating a dark and disturbing spell of intense power.
With an opening riff that glimmers as it whirs, but also creates feelings of tension and distress, V. Noir seizes the listener’s attention immediately. A mysteriously murmuring bass and the sharp snap of the snare join in, setting the stage for Witch N.‘s vicious, jagged-edged snarls, which add to the song’s mounting feeling of danger and derangement.
The guitar begins to ring like dissonant chimes from a supernatural dimension, creating a feeling of despondency and anguish, and then it rings again by itself in a different and moodier way. When the bass and drums reappear, the riffing seems to swirl as well as slash, creating an aura of mysterious wonder even as the drums begin battering and those scalding vocals vent their torment and hostility.
Eventually, the lead guitar slowly slithers through the riffing’s immersive wash of sound, forlorn in its own serpentine ringing sensations, and near the end the song swells to a crescendo of riveting madness.
As mentioned at the outset, this is the second song and video from the album to emerge so far. The first one, “Phantoms“, is, as the title suggests, is a sinister wraith of a song, propelled by high-toned riffs that squirm like ants who’ve gotten under the listener’s skin and are frantically trying to chew their way out, coupled with beefy bass lines, and clobbering drumwork. Goblin-like snarls and screams join in, along with chime-like chords and slithering melodies that together seem otherworldly, poisonous, and distraught.
The song creates tension and peril in ever-strengthening ways, and you can’t help but think something terrible will happen to those woodland wanderers in the video, especially when the song speeds up into a kind of feeding frenzy and the imagery itself becomes more frantic. Hornets swarm in the music, the vocals remain ravenous and caustic, and spirits seem to wail in the sounds of the lead guitar. But if you’re looking for a release, don’t get your hopes up.
As mentioned, Ernte‘s new album is set for release by Vendetta Records on April 7th. It was recorded and mixed by V. Noir, and it was mastered by the famed Greg Chandler at his Priory Recording Studios in the UK. For more info about the release as the street-date approaches, check the links below.