TodestossI was pleased to receive another package from German oddity Martin Lang, the creative force behind Todesstoss and several other projects on his Traumorgane label. I pointed out when I received the last two releases in 2012 that despite being new to me then, he has put out a string of demos, EPs and five full-length albums since 2000. This EP is fairly short in length at just over 30 minutes, and that’s only one track, but as with his last couple of efforts Lang has really gone to town on bringing his vision to life through the music, lyrics and artwork, again with lyrics translated into English so us non-German speaking types don’t miss out.

This is a neat little concept, about the “femme fatale”; which Lang reiterates in the blurb is meant in the Freudian sense rather than the tacky Hollywood meaning of the word. From the start, this draws you in down a pitch black tunnel as we are confounded with the witch-like cackles, croaks and screeches of Larvalis who sounds both frightening and captivating throughout conjuring up images of black magick rituals in a fire-lit cave, with spectral chanting and the summoning of demons. There are shades of Diamanda Galas and Jarboe in her vocal delivery, and the ritualism of Bloody Panda also comes to mind. A dark, brooding bassline helps to create a minimalistic soundscape which gives rather a chilling ambience, together with the suppressed production that really makes the vocals stand out almost in a reverberative fashion. Guitars scrape and scythe through the blackness, like a demonic creature clawing through the caves.

If you really got into Sauglingshangwerk Aushilfsheins, then you may remember the evocative character Temporary J Black…who stalked the streets for babies to slaughter, well the name makes a reappearance here in female guise giving that similar ghoulish and macabre air to things.

This has a real trance-like quality and sense of surrealism, and is great to listen to at full whack with all the lights off, or with some horror visuals accompanying it on the screen. If you enjoy evocative, esoteric and ambient dark music with roots in black metal, then you should give this a listen.

(8/10 Luci Herbert)