We get a gentle, melancholic intro with ‘The Dance Of Liquid Fire ‘, a little chill sweeping in before ‘No More Entry, No More Exit’ rises up with cold but subtle black metal riffs. There is a touch of Fen about this; that ability to conjure up the flow of the natural world but here there is a colder edge to the production and the guitar sound. I also hear a legacy of Amesoeurs in the bitter sweet, borderline shoegaze melody. It all draws you in straight away, wrapping you in the misty cold breath and pulling you on a journey into icy lands and dark nights. It also has a stillness about it, a bleak emptiness and so the dialogue from the old 70 s Russian science-fiction film Stalker slides into this album perfectly later on (which along with the novel Nomads Of The North by US writer James Oliver is cited as an influence). Composition and flow is what strikes you immediately here, composition and flow.
I suppose there is a sense of warning contained within; not in a violent sense but in a grim, quiet and simple way. Things cannot last and the earth only has so much left to give. Eco black metal? Maybe. It certainly has a maturity to it as well as a real sense of purpose. The vocals are well balanced between the growled lead and howling windswept backing sounds, the production is thoughtful and not intrusive or spare, the drumming predictable but adequate and not annoying and the guitar kept sharp enough to keep most of the post-rock-isms inside the melody lines and nowhere else. Mostly mid paced, with occasional accomplished funeral doom excursions such as ‘A City On Fire’ there are no musical deviations from the expected template but, within that template Windbruch create a highly listenable and enthralling world.
This is not some harsh, kvlt journey. This is, despite the bleak subject, matter, a curiously and attractively quiet piece. Thoughtful. It creates a shadow world just a step to the side from this one and encourages a little contemplation just as the characters in Stalker did. Strangely I can see fans of The Axis Of Perdition or From The Bogs Of Aughiska in less extreme moods getting a little kick out of this dark but often softly spoken narrative.
We’ll worth a look. We’ll worth your thought.