GOLEM

Death Metal / Technical Death Metal • Germany
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Golem is a German extreme death metal band. They took part in the 2007 Chronical Moshers Open Air festival. They should not be confused with a 1970s progressive rock band from Germany with the same name. The band was formed in 1989, in Buckow in Brandenburg (then still in East Germany). Two of the members died in automobile accidents, in 1992 Max Grützmacher and in 1993 Jens Malwitz. The band was re-formed and received for their debut album a contract with the East German label Invasion Records. After that label stopped producing records, they were without a contract again, but they were able to get another contract through the German label Nuclear Blast.
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GOLEM Eternity: The Weeping Horizons album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Eternity: The Weeping Horizons
Death Metal 1996
GOLEM The 2nd Moon album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The 2nd Moon
Death Metal 1998
GOLEM Dreamweaver album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Dreamweaver
Technical Death Metal 2004

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GOLEM Dreamweaver

Album · 2004 · Technical Death Metal
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siLLy puPPy
One of the premiere death metal bands in Eastern Germany, GOLEM was formed in 1989 by the then teenagers Max Grützmacher (bass), Michael Marschalk (drums) and Andreas Hilbert (guitars, vocals) with major inspiration from Napalm Death but the lineup had changed completely by the time the first demo “Recall The Day Of Incarnation” arrived in 1993 with only Hilbert remaining. By the time the band’s debut “Eternity: The Weeping Horizons” arrived in 1996, not only had the band been reduced to a trio but the influences shifted from the grind influenced Napalm Death to the old school death metal sounds of Carcass and Morbid Angel. A second album quickly followed in 1998 with “The 2nd Moon” which followed suit and then suddenly the band fell silent for a number of years.

Not content with the Carcass worship, GOLEM reinvented itself into a strange mythical death metal beast that legends of made of. It took six long years and a switch to Nuclear Blast records but by 2004 GOLEM was ready to release its masterwork titled DREAMWEAVER which retained all the brutal old school death metal in the classic Morbid Angel sense but added new layers of compositional complexity, avant-garde hairpin turns and Krautrock inspired atmospheres. Also it’s important not to confuse this band with the 70s German Krautrock band also named GOLEM which released one acid rock album in 1973 titled “Orion Awakes.” Designed to strive for the outer reaches of harmony and complexity, GOLEM entered the fledgling world of avant-garde death metal where traditional methodologies were nixed in favor of standing out amongst the many bands who had joined the death metal camp. DREAMWEAVER was a lengthy beast with 12 proper tracks reaching the 63 minute mark.

DREAMWEAVER may not have been as innovative as album’s like Gorguts’ classic “Obscura” or as far removed from all Earthly reality like the band Vuvr, Pan.Thy.Monium and Düreforsög were from the same era but GOLEM did indeed manage to craft a rather unique album in the death metal paradigm made especially clear by the closing track “Le Sacre du Primtemps” which tackles all things progressive, experimental and even Nintendo! The first three tracks get the party started with a rather classic old school death metal sound still in the Carcass realm with only subtleties offering a glimpse of the band’s true intent but beginning with “Breeder” the freak flags are set to fly and the unorthodoxies reveal themselves with vengeance. This particular track begins with a creepy keyboard intro but then quickly jumps into an oddly timed series of jittery riff attacks with a slight staccato. Cryptic tones and feedback ooze from the mangled distortion of the twin guitar attacks with jazzy drum rolls and demonically possessed vocal style in classic guttural growl death metal regalia.

“Afterglow” follows with a more thundering instrumentation as the metal jumps into overdrive. Laced with even more off-kilter time signature changes and a brutal prog approach in the riffing style, the album emboldens its desire to expand its tentacles into the hitherto unthinkable reaches of traditional death metal. The album chugs on for several more tracks. Too many in fact that basically retread the basically formula of jagged razor-sharp riffing accented by progressive deviations and the usual beastly delivery system. Starting with “Diaspora” Hilbert’s vocals switched to a raspy black metal style. Reminds me of Ihsahn in Emperor or even Immortal. “Faces” offers some bizarre drumming techniques to accompany the rather anthemic melodic procession dressed up with blistering death metal brutality. It’s a bit folky during the slower death-doom parts. “The Tower” changes things up big time with a rather strange atmospheric contribution and a completely non-death metal compositional style only dressed up in death metal clothing. It’s an oddball that sounds part church ceremony, part death metal, part black metal and part traditional heavy metal. The Bach-esque keyboards are rather trippy.

The title track takes things into an even weirder direction. It seems by this time the band is channeling its Krautrock heritage with an atmospheric melodic instrumental but the real surprise is saved for last: the bizarre interpretation of Stravinky’s “Le Sacre de Printemps” which takes on all kinds of strange twists and turns. Sounding more industrial than death metal, the track includes a series of metal styles as well as some chiptune sound effects. This is the most distinct track on the album and the perfect way to end it all. Overall DREAMWEAVER delivers a wealth of interesting ideas but the lack of cohesion makes this album feel like a loose grab bag of ideas rather than a fully gelled avant-garde death metal album of the ages. A few samey tracks in the middle edited out would’ve gone a long way and perhaps some of the techniques used on the final track could’ve found their way into the other tracks. A really cool avant-death metal album that was leaps and bounds more interesting than the band’s previous recordings but the band needed to iron out all the kinks to make it truly outstanding. One not to be missed but falls short of greatness on a few fronts.

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