Despite the Finnish album-titles, Lebensnacht hail not from the Land of a Thousand Lakes, but they are a project from Germany. Lebensnacht were formed in 2008 by Robert Brockmann, who recently joined Sado Sathanas’ line-up by the way, and who is one of the guys behind NordanVindar / Tann Im Nebel too. Robert is also the person who runs Naturmacht Productions, the label via which Lebensnacht released all former material (a split and two other studio albums).
The lyrical inspiration (in German, unlike the album’s title) comes from an introspective view on L&D: Life and Death, Light and Darkness, Law and Destruction. What is our relationship with the cycle of life, with Mother Nature and Mater Terra? What is the meaning of our presence, being nothing else but a tiny spot in eternity? Something to think about, dear colleague-misanthropists!
The album itself is limited to 300 copies, and it lasts for about forty five minutes. It opens with Erwacht (‘awakened’), which immediately comes like a sledgehammer mercilessly caressing your skull. No, I do not mean that this stuff stands for fast-forward and morbid Death or Grind stuff, but with this comparison I am referring to the atmosphere, which is ominous, foggy, apocalyptic. Uudelleensyntynyt Ikuiseen Pimeyteen mainly brings slow, pounding, grim and melodic Atmospheric Black Metal, including quite some changes in speed (especially the drum patterns play an important role in the way of experiencing the tempo), and with a very important role for keyboards. When it comes to the latter, I can give different examples, but I’ll focus on two tracks to give you an idea: Blutmeer (‘sea of blood’) and Erkenntnis (‘knowledge’). When it comes to the first, the synths sound like some xylophone, and then a track like Burzum’s Dunkelheit floats sweetly within my beautiful brain. And in Erkenntnis you have that dreamy cello-sounding wave and those hypnotic spheres of transcendental sub-consciousness. Yet in each single composition the keyboards are gloriously present, no matter whether it is supportive or prominently present.
Despite the classic basics (and then I am talking about the main structures based on the riffs and rhythm section), every single composition is distinctive from the usual, not only because of those synth parts I referred to, but because there are so many additional elements and multi-dimensional levels woven through the traditional structures: samples, spoken words, piano, acoustics (the introduction on the magisterial instrumental hymn Transzendenz [‘transcendence’], for example, is as simplistic as it is attention-grabbing), mesmerizing tremolo leads (Blutsturm [‘blood storm’] for instance, comes with a truly great lead, which is both haunting and captivating), etc.
If you appreciate the most sober dimensions of Black Metal, appeasing atmospheric levels with introspective spheres, then Lebensnacht is something you will adore. It’s like Misery, Forgotten Tomb, Shining, Atrum Tempestas and Mortis Mutilati joining forces in order to create a soundtrack for our non-existing afterlife…
One remark about the sound, to end with. The production is, as usual, unpolished and rough-edged, which perfectly fits, but a couple of times I have the impression that the mix is too weak; I mean that the balance in between the individual actors (read: instruments) does not always come to its rightful position.