Year of release: 2019
Released by: Dark Essence Records
Rating: 8,4 / 10
Not in vain, not in vain did DRUDKH musicians take the time to release the second album of their Death Metal project RATTENFÄNGER. It is simply impossible to imagine a better moment than now. I deliberately tried not to get involved with the current topic of coronavirus on the pages of Bagnik Zine, but it was just asking for it. For reference: “geisslerlieder” is, roughly speaking, “songs of self-flagellators”. The term refers to spontaneous groups of people who wandered around the cities in the Middle Ages, publicly tormenting themselves in order to atone for the sins of those around them with suffering and to induce God to stop sending disasters to them. The bulk of such processions occurred in two periods: civil unrest in northern Italy (where the virus is currently the most raging) in the 13th century and the outbreak of the Black Death in the year 1349. Coronavirus, of course, is far from the plague, but the parallel is obvious. Of course, Ukrainians could not know they will hit the bull's-eye with their new disc, since the album was released in early December, almost a month before the noise around the disease. But it just so happened that now is the time to listen to the “Geisslerlieder” and maybe flagellate yourself.
I will not beat around the bush: the debut album was better in everything. To some extent, it does the Geisslerlieder a disservice. There is a not very pronounced classic situation of “a single impulse” and diligent continuation. The “Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum” sounds a little cheaper, but it had completely hellish darkness and frightening ferocity. The Ukrainians seemed to have poured together their unrealized love for the old Death Metal and the remnants of the darkness of HATE FOREST, having plucked out a clot of deadly musical matter. It seems to me that “Epistolae ...” did not suggest continuation, but it was decided to leave RATTENFÄNGER active in case if it will suddenly come in handy. As a result, as we see, it came in handy. However, “Geisslerlieder” seems to me to be a more professional (in a bad sense) work. It has the best sound, the dynamics and mood are sustained with a clear understanding of the style and wishes of the listener, the performance is at its best. With such quality, it’s not a shame to knock on the doors of any publishing office, even Century Media. But songs, albeit good ones, are not memorable, and dark energy is suppressed for the sake of smooth sounding. To great luck, the atmospheric component is occupied by keyboard parts that cope with their task simply excellently. Without them, the album would be much worse. In general, this is an excellent release, which I will definitely buy upon opportunity. But “Geisslerlieder” once again proves that DRUDKH members create their best works in a short time, as was the case, for example, with the debut album and EP from WINDSWEPT.