Total Negation – Zeitzeuge

Rating: 4/5
Released: 2015



Band Line-up:

Wiedergaenger – All Instruments


1. Betrachter
2. Flüchtling
3. Augenzeuge
4. Kronzeuge
5. Heimkehrer
6. Zeitzeuge


Zeitzeuge is the third full release by one-man blackened doom metal project Total Negation, released through Sweden-based Temple Of Torturous Records. This follow up to ‘Zur Späten Stunde | Zeiträume’ does not disappoint.

The opening chords of ‘Betrachter’ drive up the density and the instrumentation melds together into a beautiful atmospheric passage until the vocals hit. Coarse and tortured screams are made even more harsh-sounding by the narrated German language. Wiedergaenger’s vocal delivery is cold and lifeless which is in stark contrast to some of the softer musical elements present. Second track ‘Flüchtling’ continues this theme but is accentuated by sliding guitars, melodic passages and eerie interludes. After a percussive introduction to ‘Augenzeuge’ the pace is increased and more variety is introduced to the vocal delivery, tempo and percussion that keeps the music surging forward into the fourth track ‘Kronzeuge’. Drawn out chords, a build up of intensity and the prominence of the vibraphone take this somewhere else entirely, with a few solos and a load of reverb thrown in. After a familiar introduction to ‘Heimkehrer’ this track turns into an onslaught of fast riffs, drumming and screams before melodic passages take hold again. Final and title track ‘Zeitzeuge’ is a display of the unearthly where melodica and vibraphone passages intertwined with screamed vocals fade until a creepy silence takes hold.

Zeitzeuge is an unusual album. If you haven’t heard Total Negation before the contrast between the constantly pitched harsh narrative and the atmospheric soundscape is initially surprising, however the arrangements and instrumentation complement this musical aesthetic. There are some fantastic soundscapes littered throughout, built on doomy riffs and accentuated with primal vocals. What can I say… this is an unusually pleasant listen.

Review by Helena Byrne