VERHEERER – Monolith

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label URL: https://vendettarecords.bigcartel.com
Released: 2019
Buy Album: https://verheerer1.bandcamp.com/?fbclid=IwAR36frR_r5iaLF7DB5p8ANgIJtV1cIoyXyjSK6HPqvEOcW-2wH90aBMhz0o
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/verheerer/

Band line-up:

BST: Vocals
SMN: Guitars
LKS: Guitars
MYR: Bass
KRZ: Drums

Tracklisting:

1. Intro
2. Monolith
3. He Who Sowed The Poisoned Seeds
4. The Fatalist
5. The Eskapist
6. He Shall Reap A Thousandfold
7. Serpent Grave
8. Theios Aner & Irrisio

Review:

Verheerer are a German black metal band with death influences on Vendetta Records, who will be releasing their sophomore album ‘Monolith’ on 4th October. It is a timeless, dark journey featuring seven insane tracks and it comes less than two years after their very well-received debut ‘Maltrer.’ The band comments: ‘As we started working on Monolith, the central idea was to create an album being Verheerer stripped to its purest core, without any superfluous elements’. 

It’s nice to hear a black metal band’s singer not screaming his head off in that exact same way at least 90% of other BM vocalists seem to. In fact, the frontman’s delivery can be compared to the still highly aggressive Cronos of Venom. As far as originality goes, that’s kind of it, really. Whilst the harmonies are based on a mixture of menacing power chords and fuller chords that are often plain evil and sometimes mysterious, they are still somewhat cliched. Tremolo picked (yes you know the kind) higher-pitched guitars on top of them add colour, but are uninventive and lack large leaps, instead mostly sticking to relatively small tonal areas. Really those themes sound like nothing more than extensions of the backing, rather than them being highlights.  

The bass lines are thick and powerful and the drumming is highly skilled with some pretty tasty fills but again, they do next to nothing to break the mould. The music is samey, almost from start to finish. The intro to the album promises a lot with its smooth development and intriguing changes of textures, but such changes are rare later on. ‘Serpent Grave’ has a section of clean(-ish) guitars playing colourful chords, without the chaos of super-distorted ones. It is a nice break but is far too short lived, and the music mostly returns to the way it was before. It wouldn’t exactly take too much effort to expand on such ideas, suggesting the band isn’t particularly concerned about being different and that’s a shame. The track ’Theios Aner Irrisio’ has similar problems.

In conclusion, this is yet another black metal album that sounds pretty much the same as countless thousands of other releases. The band have shown their writing abilities with their intelligent chord progressions and they have proved they know their stuff when it comes to heavy metal orchestration, but both elements really need to be taken further. Some better melodies would also be appreciated, though to be fair, some bands are all about the atmosphere. Yes, Verheerer wants to write non-superfluous music, but such music needs strong hooks and adventurous writing in the same way all music does. At the end of the day, this stuff is average and won’t be a breath of fresh air for hardened fans of the style.

Review by Simon Wiedemann
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