On March 24th W.T.C. Productions will release the long-awaited fifth album by the German black metal band Membaris. Eight years is indeed a long time in between records, and that’s how much time has elapsed since their last one, Entartet. But holy hell, the return they have made with Misanthrosophie is nothing short of spectacular.
To crib from some of the many words to follow in an introductory review, there is a theatrical quality to the album as a whole, like a fantastical Baroque pageant that seems to put the richness of humanity, in all its wildly swinging emotions — its madness and its never-ending grief, its joy and absurdity, its soulful poignancy and heedless cruelty — onto a grand stage. And to do this Membaris have seamlessly incorporated a wide range of musical styles across many decades, from both metal and rock, into their thorned framework of black metal. Every song holds wondrous surprises and thrilling experiences, every one of them fueled with undeniable passion and executed with tremendous skill.