Wedard "Einsamer Winterweg" CDPosted on Wednesday, June 18th, 2008 @ 5:51am » permalink
After two obscure limited edition runs starting in 2006, what is technically the debut full-length from Germany's self-described "depressive and melancholic black metal" outfit Wedard was re-released a third time last year, in somewhat wider scale (and with far superior artwork, which looks absolutely awesome), by Regimental Records, and I just happened to pick it up last week when the label was running one of their ever-popular $5 CD sales. I refer to this as the band's "debut" because their other 2006 full-length was just a proper release of their final demo (of which their were many during the band's early years). The overall approach here isn't particularly unexpected in terms of utilizing discordant melodies through lots of moderately paced tremolo picking, sparse clean breaks, and driving percussion – at times accenting the guitar parts with generally tactful (though still unnecessary, in my opinion) keyboards – while the vocals sway from distant shrieks or somewhat hushed screams (if that makes sense) to flirting with some borderline annoying wails here and there – though for the most part things do thankfully remain fairly tolerable in that realm. All of the lyrics are in German (and aren't included in the booklet), but with song titles that translate to phrases like "Winds of Despair" and "Walking Along the River of Time", not to mention occasional intro samples of howling winds and rain, etc., it would seem that the not uncommon themes of nature play a role in inspiring the general tone of the contents here (which also makes sense given the "grim"-looking winter landscapes throughout the packaging). The recording's pretty cool, though. It can take some getting used to on occasion, but something about the blatantly muffled distance of the drumming and the reverb lingering over the guitars and vocals creates some very fitting atmospheric characteristics. There's room for tightening up here and there (with regard to both the mix and the performances), but overall I find this to be an enjoyable listen that does indeed meet the "depressive and melancholic black metal" tag. Main member Sternenfrost is now handling all Wedard duties himself (I believe a session drummer was utilized during these recordings), and a new album is due out soon, so it should be interesting to see how the project progresses moving forward.