Thursday, December 30, 2010
Bergthron - EXP. Autarktis
Bergthron is a progressive/avant-garde black metal group from Germany. Despite being around since the mid-90s and releasing five albums, before this one, little is actually known about this group. This new album is one of their shortest and expresses some of their most left-field ideas yet.
Having not been familiar with Bergthron before this album, this album provided an interesting gateway into their albums. There's a definite blackened thrash vibe on here, but there's a much more psychedelic and progressive/experimental touch as well that often twists these more straightforward sounds into more abstract forms. There are also more avant-garde touches of electronic flourishes throughout the disc that manage to move from atmospheric backgrounds to actual parts of a song.
I found that throughout this record, these progressive or avant-garde influences never overtook the more metal aspects of the group. If riffs were more twisted sounding, it still maintained a strong sense of black metal, or the other way around, if a section was pretty straightforward, there was a more odd sounding atmosphere backing it. This album has enough experimentation to keep a prog fan interested, but enough grit and aggression to allow a metal head to headbang to it, hear Harpune 2010 (Loki). It's certainly a blend that works well for this group and is unlike that of a lot of other bands.
Despite all the above being true, there is a very strong presence of melody coursing through this record, and band. No matter how aggressive the track is, there's always a riff to latch onto that will end up taking you into the song. Tracks like Weiße Bestie (Thökk) or Seepest (Naglfar) have a very solid black metal core, with plenty of experimentation, but the riffing is melodic and quite catchy, which is probably why these tracks seemed the most standout to me as gateways into this album.
Overall, this is a solid release that definitely makes me want to check out this band's older material. While I can't say this was as experimental as I would have wanted, it's still very interesting and a good listen. If you like black metal with a bit of experimentation, than you should really try and look into this album.
Overall Score: 7.5
Highlights: 84°03'N 174°51'W (Asgard), Nordpolar° (Jormungand), Experiment Apokalypse (Ragnarök)