This is a black metal album that will take you back to the early 90s, the raw vocals and atmospheric music definitely has some Darkthrone “Blaze In the Northern Sky” influence. It takes a couple of listens to truly take in all that this album has to offer, and there are some amazing moments in it. Reading Nahtrunar’s BandCamp page it says the album’s concept is dedicated to the nights at the turn of the year known as “Rauhnächte” in old European tradition, there is a lot of superstition around this time of year. They say a portal to the netherworld is open, by which spirits and gods walk freely among mortal men. If this is what “Rauhnächte” sounds like then the darkness will swallow you up in “Symbolismus”.
The opening track “Auf Totenritt durch Innernächte” instantly hits you with that 90s black metal energy, the guitar riffs are strong and quite memorable. Laced with throat ripping vocals that make you want to put on your corpse paint and do your best black metal pose, as you head bang along. There are alternating instrumental tracks on this album that Nahtrunar use to tie the album together, the acoustic guitar and beautiful melody of “(I)” add scope. This can also be said of “Wir Leichenvögel” where there are contrast between tender string moments and guitar riffs, it is beautifully layered together.
The album continues with “Gestaltenwandler”that has some mid-section samples that hollow through the guitars, which then spiral into a mesmerizing melody. This leads well into “(III)” that whispers like frost bite into your ears, it finishes leading way for the title track. “Symbolismus” which has a strong guitar riff that carries the song along, however at 08:37 minutes long it drags a little in the middle for me. The mood is lightened yet again with another instrumental piece and then returns to the blackness with “Nauthiz Notfeuer”. This track varies its pace well by building you up and engulfing you in noise, before ejecting you out the end of the song. The album ends with “Wo der Nachtimmel sich aufspreiz” which graces us with some true melody, thick guitars entwined with blast beat style drums.
If it were a cold Scandinavian night in deep winter, this album would be your soundtrack into the blackness.