Degesch “S/T” Album Review – Darker Than Black Records

Degesch – S/T – Darker Than Black Records, Germany

Despite the fact that this band Degesch remains a bit of a mystery to me, I have a renewed hope in black metal thanks to Darker Than Black records; the label releasing this mysterious but incredible album soon.  When I get more information, I will update the review.  But I was so excited about this, I could not wait to share the review.

Germany’s underground black metal scene remains the most over-looked and under-appreciated in the world…certainly overshadowed by Norway most of all.  However, the music scene makes me proud that one of my family lines come from Germany.

According to DTB records, this is a “new band hailing from the German black metal underground and delivering an album like a force to be reckoned with.”  That is an understatement.

The haunting Track 1, “Intro” starts off as if it’s one of the better dungeon synth (i.e. Mortiis) albums I’ve heard in a while.  Before going any further, let’s discuss the production.  When it comes to black metal albums, there is intentionally crappy production (i.e. Darkthrone’s “Total Death”), there is average commercial production (i.e. Dimmu Borgir) and then there is insanely accurate production while maintaining all the integrity of good German Black metal.

That is where Degesch come in.  The way this album is mixed and produced makes it an addictive listen.  It makes the buzz-saw guitars like the auditory equal to the slow inescapable enjoyment of peeling a scab.  It’s just raw enough to maintain what some call purity in black metal but  done well enough that the listen is more enjoyable.

The drums remain mostly fast to mid-pace throughout the album (or ep since it’s only six tracks).  But there is a lot of double-bass unlike your typical generic raw black metal album.  Another stand-out feature is the vocal layering.  There occasionally appears at least 2 ( a high scream and low growl…maybe even a third layer)

Track 3, “Selected to Die” almost reminded me of some of the break-downs in the occasional Tiamat or Kreator song.  But by far, the stand-out track for me is track 4, “Soldier of the Sunwheel;” mid-tempo like Darkthrone but also containing breakdowns like the ones mentioned earlier with the apparent layered vocal assault.

Sure..the purists will find all their essential black metal elements in Degesch’s self-titled debut album here.  But I’m telling you… there’s so much more.  As much mystery (at least at this point) as surrounds this band, there is 10 times the hope for the black metal underground.  Leave it to my friends, the Germans.  Stay tuned for more….  I’ll update the review when I have more info.  I just wanted to get the word out there now.

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