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Waldgefluster use Ruinen to showcase their unique and potent brand of black metal, even if it is a touch longwinded.

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Album Review: WALDGEFLUSTER Ruinen

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Waldgefluster have always been something special – they are the sort of band who don't shy away from epic orchestrations, orchestrations that never feel heavy handed but rather flow nicely with everything else they have conjure up. This is a band who understand that far too much black metal is overwrought and manage to avoid that while staying fairly epic in tone. That in and of itself is a really cool thing. The one area where Waldgefluster fall down though is that their latest offering Ruinen is too goddamn long. As good as this band is, I'm not sure if I, or many other black metal fans for that matter, have the patience to sit through an hour of music, at least not in one sitting. As is though – the eight tracks on Ruinen are some of the most exciting and powerful to come out of the genre in the past year and show that the band's excellent pedigree is well merited. They move past common tropes and embrace a doomier, more post music influenced future.

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Don't think though that Waldgefluster have sold out. While they certainly have acoustic passages worthy of Alcest, the band is still able to get evil when they want to. And it's not like they were ever one of the worlds most evil black metal bands either. In many ways Ruinen feels like a continuation on the band's previous work, a sign that they have created that hints to the more fundamental principles behind nature and heathendom and have brought their songwriting to new and powerful levels. One of the things that I find fascinating here is that even though I do genuinely find Ruinen to be too long none of the songs feel that way, nor do any feel like filler. Rather I almost wish that this record had been put out as an album and an EP. It doesn't feel quite cohesive enough, but all of the material is very strong and begs further exploration. When packaged like this though that can be a little tricky. Ruinen often feels alienating, only because there is so much to pick apart and try to understand.

There is something deeply enjoyable about a band with this much sheer potential and whose sound can encompass so much. They have a deep understanding of the magic of the genre and conjure that up with every track. The way that a song like 'Weltenwanderer' blows you away with its deep-set sense of melody and crushing forward motion is absolutely stunning. It shows us that Waldgefluster can pull apart the genre at the seams. It shows us that there is still a lot of room to explore in this music and it shows me that Ruinen is one of the truly special black metal releases of its time. While it borders on greatness, it indicates that Waldgefluster are capable of so much more and we should expect their future to be truly great. Though you get a bit too lost in this particular release, Ruinen shows us a potent future for the band.

Score: 8/10

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