TotalNOne look at the cover art tells you immediately this is going to be one of those albums that will leave you puzzled after the first listen but will well and truly hit home on subsequent plays. As a one man blackended art project via the crafted genius of Weidergaenger this is his second album and is comprised of two EPs covering the conceptualisation of the mind at rest during sleep during “Zur Späten Stunde” and how our dreams can blur with reality on “Zeiträume”. This all may sound rather pretentiousness but the way Weidergaenger has crafted his songs to sonically visualise this is rather clever indeed. Each EP has four compositions as the first of the EPs begins with “Einkehr” and a slow funereal fuzzy guitar riff that is bitingly scornful but icily clear with the screamed manic vocals. The tune has a low running double bass occasionally when the pace increases but this is devoutly despondent as though you’re entering a night terror and watching yourself from the outside unable to give warning of the dread to be unleashed, well that’s my interpretation anyway.

“Abstieg” continues the mournful temperament with a shoegaze feel akin to Ameseours. The lingering guitar melody is rife with anguish and grimly foreboding. The slightly heavier “Einzug” still harnesses the dreary atmosphere but inserts more bass and drums. The song is ghoulish as it gently drops back to cymbal work and a lone guitar. The closing tune of the first EP is “Freilauf” a shorter more urgent song that has a folky feel and listening to this on headphones creates a very spacey feel on the stereo effects with instruments wandering about equating to sleep like rapid eye movements so to speak through music.

The second EP has a denser sound and a virtual trippy ethos. The guitar riff that starts “Geist” is very quirky as the demonic shrill screams shatter your soul. Now this EP brokers the use of a couple of atypical instruments namely the vibraphone and melodica both of which I had to look up. The former pops up (and sounds like a xylophone for those who don’t know like I didn’t) on “Geist” like a ghostly apparition tormenting and dispersing the reappearing repetitive nightmare, though the song is really quite sweet in its emotion. The melodica is a blown keyboard and creates that psychedelic feel in the songs which continues into “Zeit” and has a cracking opening melody to it. After the blast the vibraphone returns and merrily plays without a care in the world in true avant-garde fashion. The EP is climaxed by “Raum” and Traum” the former being a more typical black metal song though even here the melody is peculiar yet totally engaging. The melodica creates this bizarre French like feel which I know sounds very strange but when you hear it you’ll understand as the mid section has jazz styled chaos that will really test your stamina and diversification. After a number of listens I can still hear things I missed previously which points squarely at an album that is bursting with intelligence like the very early Solefald albums for want of a comparison. This album is very challenging but weirdly uplifting when played, the songs create an ethereal transfixing addiction that will have you totally hooked.

 (8/10 Martin Harris)