Genre: Black Metal
1. Verachtung deiner Geburt
2. Pest - Prättigau 1629
3. So Mischt der Teufel die Karten
4. Phantom Beasts
5. Die Schwarze Flut
8. Der Aussätzige
This is sort of a random purchase on my behalf. Totenheer are a new band out of Switzerland. Apparently starting in 2010, but they haven't released any material until this full-length. The cover of the album caught my eye at first and then I went and checked out some samples. They sounded like a fairly solid Black Metal band and worth checking out in more detail. I've really enjoyed a lot of the Black Metal coming out of Switzerland lately, so I was eager to find more music from that region.
For some reason Totenheer strikes me as a rather young band and that goes for their members too. I have no idea how old they are or how long they've been working in the Black Metal scene. However, "Wüetisheer", comes off as an album that is a great collection of influences. It is, by no means an amateur release, so don't get that impression. This sounds like a solid and professional piece of Black Metal. The songwriting just feels young, as in they are sticking with very tried and true methods to craft their songs. There's nothing that really hooks me in other than the initial reaction of "these guys sound pretty good." The songwriting has moments where they are very good, but I think the project still needs more development before they really harness their own sound. I would really like to see them do more of the atmospheric elements on "Pest Prättigau 1629" on future developments. They sound immensely haunting and have a very different feel when combined with their music. Despite the fact that has certainly been done before, it came off as a different aesthetic.
In the end I think Totenheer are in a class of very talented musicians who are learning how to mesh all their influences into one cohesive slab of immense Black Metal. They suffer from almost having too many influences, which is something I notice is very common with new bands these days. There is a lot of great Metal out there... but trying to touch on it all can give a song a bit of a disjointed feel because you are pulling the listener in too many directions at once. To Totenheer's credit they've managed to put all this together in a much more seamless fashion than other new artists I've come across. I'm definitely interested in what Totenheer produce as a follow-up to this release because it sounds like they have a lot of great potential.