Year of release: 2019
Released by: Xtreem Music
Rating: 8,3 / 10
The middle of this year pleasantly surprises by the number of great releases. For the first time in Bagnik Zine history, my promo folder with albums for full-length reviews contains almost as many positions as the folder with generic stuff for Blitz reviews. As far as time allows, I will try to acquaint you with the best new albums as soon as possible. I'll start with TOTENGOTT. This Spanish band, founded just six years ago, began as a CELTIC FROST cover band, but then decided to play its own songs. Looking ahead, I will say that it's still a cover band. But it doesn't mean it's bad.
The press release for the second album of the Spaniards contains a verbose piece of bullshit about some incredibly outstanding originality of the band. Like, here we have music without borders, towering above the predictable and monochromatic modern metal scene. Something about the mixture of BATHORY epic with the PINK FLOYD experimentality, and so on. I do not know who wrote this lie, but he should be very ashamed. In TOTENGOTT's music on this album there is absolutely nothing original, not a single moment. All it is a replay of the ideas of Tom Gabriel Fisher and his companions. But what a powerful, competent replay! We have shit tons of CELTIC FROST clones around the globe, but for the first time I met the band that takes a little bit from entire CELTIC FROST discography, and even goesinto the territory of TRIPTYKON. Almost all imitators are inspired only by the early works of the Swiss, but TOTENGOTT uses everything: the harsh angular riffs of “Morbid Tales”, the monumentality of "To Mega Therion”, a bit of extravagance of “Into The Pandemonium”, aerial sketches of “Vanity / Nemesis” and, most valuable, the suffocating, leaden, monolithic darkness of “Monotheist” and TRIPTYKON albums. Right now, in my headphones, the “The Spell” thing is playing, which would fit among TRIPTYKON songs perfectly. Sound, mood, even vocals - the difference is almost imperceptible. Someone will say that this is plagiarism, but I can’t be so critical of TOTENGOTT. It is extremely difficult to convey the darkness reigning in the late works of Fisher, and the Spaniards coped with this task. So far, I have not heard anyone who would try to look at this territory. Honor and praise to TOTENGOTT for pioneering ambitions. In addition, the rethinking ... well, not rethinking, but reworking of the ideas of early CELTIC FROST is also made on the highest level. Their relationship with the material of the Swiss is not just respectful - it is fanatical. The smallest details, which even Fisher himself probably does not suspect, are noticed and carefully conveyed.
Among the disadvantages of the album I will name the unfortunate idea of starting each song with a long intro where nothing really happens. Thus, the first track actually falls out of the album: minus the ceremonial part with the “Sic Transit Gloria Mundi” chant, it consists of a dull acoustic part (probably that PINK FLOYD-style experimentality) ending with a shamelessly stolen piece of “Valhalla” of BATHORY. In the remaining three tracks, the intros are completely useless (meaningless set of “ritual” sounds), but the total duration of the songs redeems it.
As a result, I can say that Fisher can retire with peace in his soul (after completing the TRIPTYKON trilogy, of course). Now he has truly worthy successors, whose CDs could be proudly be put on the same shelf with CELTIC FROST, TRIPTYKON and HELLHAMMER.