From the cold mountainous lands of Switzerland, comes fierce sounding black metal. This is music to send chills down your spin and make you sleep under the blankets with a flashlight.
Alright, the music is not that scary and Schammasch is no more sinister sounding than the first Black Sabbath album. Though I will say their style of black metal can be haunting at times. The band experiments with a variety of tempo changes while creating an ominous distorted world of wonder. This is not straight forward endless blast beat black metal, but a mix of black metal with death metal that can make way for the occasional slow crushing riff section. The music seems to have a certain aggressive groove to it which makes this album move in a consistent musical direction.
“He Whose Face is Made of Entrails,” is a creative and enjoyable song that instantly jumps into the band’s chaotic bone crushing sound. Surprisingly good recording allows the instruments to vividly standout and offer a massive punch to the song’s overall lyrical content. The vocalist sounds like a tortured soul screaming over a land of thunderous riffs and bombastic drum beats. Schammasch definitely goes for an overall unholy sound that I hear quite often from black metal bands. I get tired of it at times, but I will say that this band presents a unique set of songs that all have their own special identity. I was really impressed with the song, “Chaos Reigns.” The song is engaging and the band’s talented musicianship is reflected through how the piece is composed. I am swept away into this dark world of extreme wonder and think the music transcends most people’s beliefs about how black metal should be played.
The two songs “No Light From the Fires” and “Black But Shinning,” are longer tracks compared to the previous ones. I felt the band really tried to express their sinister concepts with these two songs and provide listeners a slower build up to the extreme climatic black metal onslaught. There are times where the riff seems to just carry on with no end in sight, but I think sometimes the extended heavy parts give the music a brilliant sounding doom like atmosphere. Just another area where the band separates themselves from the usual black metal groups.
The last song on this album, “The Venom of the Gods,” is a true epic of terror. This track is around ten minutes in length and goes through various musical changes. However, even with all the different instrumental parts, this band maintains an unforgiving venomous sound. I felt the lyrics were penned with great passion and express an unforgiving force of unapologetic rage. A perfect finishing touch to this album.
Overall I was impressed by this album and thought Schammasch delivered a solid sounding release. Compared to your Venom rip offs, Schammasch found ways to incorporate multiple metal styles into their music. I highly recommend this album for fans of black metal that also mixes doom and death metal into the musical landscape. I think the unholy sounding style can be slightly over the top at times, but at least this band does not sound like they record their music on a broken seventies tape recorder. We have too many bands already who sound like that to where I can’t tell the difference...