Album Title: 
Release Date: 
Friday, August 2, 2013
Review Type: 

Totenheer are a band from Lucerne, Switzerland, formed as a quartet in early 2010. The band’s moniker means something like ‘army of the dead’ in the Alemannic language (Swiss-Germanic). In autumn 2011, the band entered the Helvede Studio with Stefan Walker in order to record their debut full length, Wüetisheer (‘wild army’ or ‘wild hunt’), but it took another year to have the material mixed and mastered. This was done by nobody else but Gurd / Pulver-frontman V.O. Pulver (he did production, engineering, mix and / or mastering for tens of other bands, like Destruction, Zatokrev, Excruciation, Darkmoon, Pro-Pain etc.) at the Little Creek Studio.

Wüetisheer lasts for forty eight minutes and like most acts on Asgard Hass, they perform a primitive and old styled (read: traditional) form of Black Metal, yet not of the purest Second wave trend. This material is heavy and fast, melodic and powerful, with harsh and energetic drum patterns, melodic and epic riffs, nice melodious leads, pounding bass lines and venomous screams. But there are lots of elements that are distinctive from the usual, and then I am referring to the atmospheric / ambiental pieces (like the introduction on Pest - Prättigau 1629), to the huge variety in speed (note: no matter if a part is fast, faster, fasts, blasting fast or slowed-down; throughout the whole album the overpowering and colossal expression of abyssal fury keep maintained), to the injection of elements from different Black-subgenres, as well as Thrash and Death Metal elements, and to the production. When it comes to the latter, well…: the sound is truly superb. It’s ‘full’, balancing in between unpolished and raw, and it supports the atmosphere in its vision of massiveness and uncompromising attitude. No cheap lo-fi nonsense, not over-produced fingerspitzen-elegance, but with Wüetisheer you have the full package without exaggeration, and without disappointment.