May 302023

About 18 months ago we had the chance to premiere a fascinating song off the then-forthcoming sophomore album The Shrouded Muse of the World’s Lament by the German black/doom metal band Stagwounder, which was released by Crawling Chaos Records. The album itself was equally fascinating, and not only because of the music. Its conceptual underpinning was a series of aphorisms drawn from a work called Pessimistenbrevier by the 19th-century German philosopher Julius Bahnsen, and we delved into it in some detail in that premiere feature.

We won’t repeat that discussion here, though it’s still worth exploring if you managed to overlook the album. What we’re doing now is to provide a very good reason to track down the album if you’re late to the party, and to give even fans who know the album well an opportunity to revisit part of it in a special way, thanks to a video of Stagwounder performing the song “Der Moder heiligster Rechte” in an unusual live setting.

The performance you’re about to see took place on Stagwounder‘s November 2022 tour of Germany with the German funeral doom titans Ahab. One of the shows on that tour took place on the MS Stubnitz, a fully seaworthy fishing vessel located in Hamburg Harbor, which nowadays hosts live music. In that setting, Stagwounder played within a steel womb 30 feet under sea level, and the MS Stubnitz Crew filmed the whole show from multiple camera angles in stark but beautifully lit black and white.

Accompanied by a strummed guitar, the Stagwounder rhythm section take the lead in providing a thoroughly beguiling opening to “Der Moder heiligster Rechte“. It’s an intriguing musical spell that could have gone on much longer without any loss of attention, but fairly soon the band transform the experience with music that’s much heavier and more turbulent, crafted by clobbering drums, savagely raking riffage, and vicious serrated-edge snarls.

Feelings of tension and confusion flow through the frantic guitar maneuvers, but the rhythm section continue riveting attention with their performances — and the sound is so well recorded and mixed that you can easily focus on every member’s contributions.

Darting and ringing guitars also give the song feelings of liveliness and hope as they cavort over the proggy bass lines and inventive (but still spine-cracking) drum escapades. The whole thing is thoroughly captivating, captured on film in just the right way:

The Shrouded Muse of the World’s Lament is available via the links below, and at the Bandcamp page you can listen to all of it.



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