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GEIST
GEIST
Galeere
(Lupus Lounge / Prophecy Productions)
51:10min

The concept behind this album is great - a Black Metal album about the sea. And since all water in general, and the sea in particular, is one of the great archetypal forces that drives imagination of men in interesting directions I was very excited to hear this album. German band GEIST consists of six experienced musicians, that have put themselves to work to craft an ode to the great salty infinity but, in my opinion, unfortunately failed. How come? Well, first of all, when you choose something that has a place in the heart of men so deep you should carefully consider the thing you want to describe with your music. Very carefully. The sea they want to put to music is grand, dangerous, mystical, wild, calm and dark. And here lies the problem, because their music is just not archetypal (and this adjective can be followed by all other things you say when describing the sea). Of course, musicians are competent and a lot of dramatic changes sweep across the lengthy songs (most around 8 minutes and the last one around 16). The melodies are epic, the vocals tell us stories of old, there are calm parts followed by more dramatic and hard ones and the sea is constantly in the background, washing over the listener and whispering its allure. So what is wrong? The chosen genre, Black Metal, was great but the record lacks edge. It is easy and not at all dangerous. And that is wrong. Here we come to the basic OPETH problem: wanting to use elements of extreme styles of Metal to make something that is easy listening in its essence. The vocalist is trying but the I could hear almost everything clearly and wondered myself where is delirium that goes with the contact with the sea. He should be more harsh and demented and that is a shame since sometimes he comes near the edge of FLUISTERWOUD's greatness. Then the guitars and the drums - I was constantly on edge wanting to scream: "Come on guys put some real force to it! Do something, don't let the potential of the concept slip away!" But no. It is so safe to listen to that afterwards I wanted to do something bad to feel alive. There are elements of other styles of Metal that made a serious problem for me - Heavy and even Progressive Metal melodies and execution between the Black Metal parts I just could not take in. The heavy parts are not heavy enough and the calm parts are calm in a very bland way. The juxtaposition of these elements is not clear and powerful enough to produce drama and awe that the concept, the sea, requires. The production, no doubt, plays an important part - it is extremely clear, flat, without meat and and that takes away a lot of power. In the end, I think the idea, the cover art, and the genre (which is usually more earthbound) are great but here not sufficient to deal with the majestic force that is sea. Go for this if you like melodic and not so harsh Black Metal with Viking and Heavy Metal elements. Otherwise, you will have to wait and listen to the sea itself to produce rapture in you. www.myspace.com/geistmetal, www.lupuslounge.com

Branko Matija¨evic

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