Empty Space Meditation
(Ván Records)

URFAUST always feels like a "new" band to me, even though they were founded 13 years ago and "Empty Space Meditation" is their sixth album already (not counting the split with CIRCLE OF OUROBORUS and the "Ritual Music For The True Clochard" compilation). I don’t know why that is. But one reason, apart from growing old and grey and losing count of my years on earth, is that they always outdo themselves with each new release. There is no stagnation in Camp URFAUST. Ever. But what simply sets them apart from their contemporaries and pretty much everyone else is just one thing: innovation. Not innovation for the sheer sake of it, but forward thinking and creating progressive – in the best of ways – music that needs time to grow, to breathe, to develop. "Empty Space Mediation" is an album is six parts, ‘Meditatum I’ through ‘Meditatum VI’, and it is an album the way an album should be: there is no hit single, it simply needs to be listened to in one take and not as background noise. ‘Meditatum I’ creates the mood for the whole thing: it’s an ambient piece of darkness, ominous yet strangely catchy even, and then ‘Meditatum II’ explodes in your face like microwave popcorn: harsh but majestic (a harsh majestic popcorn?! – Frank). There is a lot of clean singing going on on this album in general, not unlike BATHORY circa "Hammerheart", but the most interesting parts sound like Varg Vikernes always wanted to be in his teenie years, but never, ever even came close. That said, URFAUST could not have picked a better album title or artwork. This truly is a meditative ritual, meant as a way to open gates that have not been opened before, both in an esoteric as in an exoteric sense. It is not groundbreaking by any means, but I doubt that this was the intention. Substances will certainly help to enhance the listening experience and / or ritual character, depending on what your angle is. No surprise here, URFAUST celebrate their own intoxication reliously, like cultures have been doing for millenia, and it shows. "Empty Space Mediation" is montonous to the point of torture. It is light and dark. As above, so below. Doom – or even drone – riffs go straight into oriental sounds, fast and slow are just terms for the casual listener, and the only comparison I can think of is not a musical, but a literary one: when Margarita learns how to fly and how to unleash her inner passions in Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel "The Master And Margarita“, she flies naked above night time Moscow – simply because the Devil made her do it. This is the Devil within URFAUST: he makes you experience things you never imagined. www.facebook.com/urfaustofficial, http://urfaust.bandcamp.com, www.van-records.de

Thomas Reitmayer

Thomas Reitmayer

Related reviews:

URFAUST - Der Freiwillige Bettler - by Matthias Auch

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