REVIEW: TODTGELICHTER – “Rooms”
I have always had a soft corner for music that is unconventional arrangements in music. The problem with this is, when it is good, it is great and when it is bad, it gets worse. Luckily the music is on the positive side of things for Todtgelichter with their newest album ‘Rooms’. A nice and tight album with a lot that satisfies the sonic palate.
The album starts off on a trance with “Ghost”. The song has a strong retro vibe in it with some modern elements. It is a weird cross over song that is seemingly surreal. The band gets top marks for making this the opening track on the album. Following up, “Schrein” follows the same mood that “Ghost” created. This song is gripping and tight. One would love the atmosphere it creates with its paces and tones. When it comes to creating melancholic textures in music, synthesizers, organs and a soulful voice are the best for the job and this is exactly the case with “Lost”. The song gets darker and deeper the longer one listen to it or perhaps get lost itself! “Necromant” is a really interesting song on this record. The fancy synth work with percussion’s and enchanting vocals make this a winner for those looking to satisfy cravings for something atmospheric. Things start to get really intense with “Zuflucht”. Faster instrumental sections and harsh vocals bring in an element of being heavy which so far was minimal in the album. Although this is quick to end as the song fades into an organ outro. “4JK” is another heavy sounding track off this album. This particular song sounds substantially different from rest of the album while still maintaining some points of relation with the album. In some sense, it sounds like something that you would not expect to come up in the album considering how the album has progressed so far. Sometimes surprises are cool, I guess. “Origin” opens up with a lovely vintage and lively feel to it. A smooth and pleasing song indeed! “Pacific” marks the end of the album. It is quite and tranquil end to the topsy-turvy album. This song revisits the ambience created by the album for the most part and it marks itself as a fine ending.
‘Rooms’ is an interesting album that distinguishes itself as a fine work in the world of atmospheric, dark, progressive and post-metal music. There is no doubt that this is an inspired album with a good sense of balance in its musical approach. The band has taken a lot of parts from different dimensions of music and put it into this record. Out of sheer familiarity though, one can certainly distinguish the atmospheric, ambient, progressive and dark elements in this music. I would not argue that the record might have an identity crisis but hey, that is what avant-garde and post metal arrangements are all about! One thing is certain, despite the intensity of the album it makes up for rather easy listening for anyone. As a band that started out with a black metal approach in their music, the band has had some dramatic changes in their sounds over the years with previous albums. Their spirit of pushing the possibilities in the music that they make presents some sort of futuristic approach within the tonality they have used till date.
From the extremity of black metal with which they started, the extremity in their music isn’t going to die out any time soon. The factor of surprises and unexpected turns in their music is risky but so far they have been safe. Maybe on this there could be a few listeners who would argue otherwise. There is a fine mix of simplicity and complexity in the music. A combination of clean singing and screams complimented the mood of the instrumental sections. This sounds like a winning formula but the album could have done with a little better production to do justice for the record. The production is just fine but asking a little more definition wouldn’t hurt, I guess. The groovy rhythm sections are fun to listen to. The leads and organ sections gave greater depth to the music. The line-up for ‘Rooms’ consists of Marta (vocals, screams), Frederic (guitars, backing vocals), Guntram (bass), Frieder (organ, synths) and Tentakel P (drums). ‘Rooms’ is an exciting and satisfying record with a little more to ask for.