UNGFELL — Tôtbringære (review)

UNGFELL — Tôtbringære album cover Album · 2017 · Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
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Led by only permanent member Menetekel (everything bar drums), comes a relatively new Swiss black metal act called Ungfell. Tôtbringære (2017) is the debut album of the project, who previously released a demo and a split with countrymen Dakhma. Being from Switzerland it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that Ungfell's lyrics are in German.

While Tôtbringære does include a track like Die Bleiche Göttin which sticks to the kind of rough and raw black metal style that formed the traditional basis for the genre, as laid down by the early Norwegian bands, Menetekel is quick to show that his take on the genre for Ungfell is going to be anything but derivative of what came before it. You can expect a harsh sound across the release with lots of raw, treble riffs and fierce growls, but within this harsh assault you'll find that Ungfell's Tôtbringære is actually quite the varied album with a lot of ideas tucked away in its depths.

From the black metal perspective the album switches to a more melodic black metal sound at times, for example during Gottes Acker, but rather than turning all polished and modern Ungfell loses none of the raw, primal sounding atmosphere that Tôtbringære has going for it. Some of Menetekel's more tortured sounding growls as well as the rather mournful clean vocals that are sometimes used instead also show off a small nod to the aesthetics of depressive black metal to my ears. There are additionally some much deeper growls used on very rare occasion that give the album a brief touch of death metal.

However it's the influence of folk music that plays the larger role in making Ungfell's sound special. The album starts with such a folksy instrumental, Viures Brunst and features a second later on, Slahtære, but it's the role the influence plays in the black metal tracks that really sets them apart. Little details that give each track definition and identity. A particular highlight for me that does this is Wechselbalg, which features a very nice recurring folksy rhythm between the blasts of black metal. Another track I want to give a special mention to as a highlight is Trommler Tod.

Tôtbringære is a very interesting release to explore from start to finish, with these little details revealing themselves all the time. With it, Ungfell has surely produced a highlight for black metal in 2017; an album that remains true to the genre's roots but shows itself to be a whole lot more creative than the majority of newer artists playing the style.
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666sharon666 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I'm going to have to check this one out.

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