Well, I don’t imagine this one will go a hell of a lot of distance with the ol’ Urfaust casual listener. Then again, these two dudes have basically made a life of sneaking off and fooling everybody with their music, so there it is. Urfaust is Dutch for inebriation, you know. Or maybe it’s a kind of extra dry gin. One or the other. It is the ritual music of the clochards, as so written in their holiest of texts. So get yourself a drink or two of them and settle in. The ritual.
Here it is. Black metal and ambient music are good partners. Not maybe since the very first day, but once they discovered how good those opposites actually attract. It is a chaos appeal. One shits on music’s common structure, the other one on just about everything that has to do with common decency and virtue. There it is. You like a good rhythm and a catchy little chorus? Here is 30 minutes of weird tunnel noise. Or just cram every living creature into a church and burn it to the GD ground while we pound on these trashcans and drive nails through these butcher shop pig heads. Chaos. Cuddle chaos. Satan is chaos, some of them will tell you that. Whatever.
Go listen to “Crossing the Triangle of Flames” and run into the woods in the snow and freeze to fucking death against a tree by morning. I bet you’ll laugh about your stupid car not running and your dumb job then. Or go listen to Basinski’s River 1 in the basement all by yourself in the goddamn dark and wait for you r bones to start trembling man. Those two things work together. For Urfaust, it’s The Verrtersher nichtwurst de Geist. Verrückter werderberger heist.
That album. And the one before it, too. With the picture of the guy with the big bushy beard. Those two are quintessential combos of the beautiful raw and dirty mixed with dark atmosphere ambience. Perfect. “Dunkel, still von Ewigkeit” So good.
But even then that wasnt really ambient. Tr00 ambient. Eno ambient. But now they really have. With Apparitions. Which is why people won’t probably be too into it. At least at first. Maybe never. I cant figure out why people flip out over what they do. There is a little metal in the middle, but not a lot. The song “Apparitions” works a slow marching drum into it. And you get IX singing those AH AHHHHs we know & love. Crooning. And there’s some really cool dark folky plucking going on toward the end. But it’s not metal. Just kind of a ritual slog and marching along in a weirdly pleasant way. “The Healer” though is heavy. OPening with a dirty, fat, slow and old Melvinsy sorta riff, and then just washing you over with decrepitude before getting all Einsiedler epic with howls and a sweet bit of sad melody in the guitars. That is fucking awesome. Those two songs are the more structured, traditional Urfaust sections. About fifteen minutes. The rest is atmosphere. The first seven minute tune is drifty slow and gradual and strangely uplifting. Weird. And pretty. Not used to that from these guys. But the closing song is where people will be all what in the HELL, man! This is a long, looped drone tune that’s over 20 minutes, and it’s the one that most fits what Eno said about ambient music: “it must be as ignorable as it is interesting.”
That is it. Bells and chants and occasional howls that just sort of fill the background. But if you just sit and let it totally absorb you, it’s suddenly loud as a bomb in your head. But yeah, I don’t know how many people are really into that kind of thing when they expect somthing that’s black, or doomier in the way they’ve started to become. Hey, expect the unexpected, said your old chum. That’s really a pretty good mantra.
But who knows, maybe this is all bullshit. And I am bullshit, too. I know I am, in fact, because I also have a Chris watson album that kicks off with the sound of a shitty old lion howling and cows and birds calling for like half an hour. Is that bullshit? Yeah, probably. Maybe you don’t like this and that’s obviously fine and you should just use your money for a Carach Angren album. Guess what, you’re bullshit too. Who fucking cares.
I’ll tell you what, though. It is a solitary journey, all of this that happens before youre dead and alone in your dead fucking grave. Or burned and jammed into a pretty little vase. A quiet and loud and light and dark and lonely journey that needs a good soundtrack. All of it. You better be prepared