German extreme metal artist Rainer Landfermann recently dropped his solo album, entitled Mein Wort in Deiner Dunkelheit.
Explaining the album, Landfermann says, “Mein Wort in Deiner Dunkelheit, which translates to ‘My word in your darkness,’ is an album about introspection, self-awareness, and – ultimately – about beauty: its experience, appreciation, and sometimes, the painful loss of it.”
Known for his stellar bass and vocal work with PAVOR and the German black metal band Bethlehem, Landfermann’s inimitable voice informed Bethlehem’s 1996 album, Dictius Te Necare, imbuing it with cult status.
Riff Magazine’s Max Heilman included ‘Mein Wort in Deiner Dunkelheit’ on his list of ’50 Best Metal Albums of 2019, writing, “Rainer Landfermann has become the stuff of legend in the metal underground. The arduous wait for a solo album is over […] Mein Wort in Deiner Dunkelheit combines jazz fusion, chamber music, avant-garde metal and Landfermann’s ridiculous vocalizations. It certainly proves how deep his musical roots reach, while bringing the crazed passion that immortalized him.”
Encompassing 10-tracks, the album begins with “Langsam, hinters Licht,” opening on low-slung melancholic strings topped by an entrancing guitar, followed by the entry of Landfermann’s grinding, rasping, wailing voice. Choir-like harmonies infuse the tune with radiant devout accents.
Highlights include “Vertieft,” opening on stridently keening guitars flowing into a symphonic metal melody backed by glowing vocal harmonies. A drum-filled breakdown shifts the harmonics to jazz-flavored textures, akin to the sonic version of Ridley Scott’s use of dark and light.
“Wir fehlen alle” travels on a cavernously groaning intro segueing to dirge-like strings topped by Landfeermann’s woe-filled grimacing tones, followed by a bloodcurdling scream riding mournful strings supported by viciously crunching percussion.
“Intuition” features a dark, sepulchral piano, booming drums, and subterranean strings. A malevolent braying organ suffuses the tune with retro horror film timbres, as Landfermann’s demonic screeching reels out overhead. Frequent harmonic shifts infuse the song with almost random and contradictory flavors, all full of dominating tension.
The tight guitars of “Genius Drang” are reminiscent of Rush, as if they decided to cover Darkthrone, with Satan himself on lead vocals backed by a choir of angels.
The title track opens on glaring tones rife with angular actinic colors and then moves into a streaming contortion of guitars, followed by a gorgeously trembling neo-classical melody. An elegant piano provides accompaniment to the soaring tones of a church choir. When Landfermann’s surging howls enter, the combined sonic layers assume ferocious transcendence.
Mein Wort in Deiner Dunkelheit goes beyond any normal projections of metal and enters the realm of thrilling punishing soundscapes. An overwhelming psychic aura of lethal dread surrounds the album, making it a must-listen-to compulsion.