Der Untergang der alten Welt is the sophomore effort from Germany’s own Heimdalls Wacht which was re-released last year in December. If you need your fix of everything anti-Christian, depressive, and pissed off, then Heimdalls Wacht is that band that can fulfill your needs. Der Untergang der alten Welt is over an hour long and within that hour you get subjected to a beating, not just physically but emotionally as well. This release by these black metal merchants puts you through an array of emotions as you go from being depressed to feeling pissed off and needing to take it out by burning a church.
Heimdalls Wacht explores the more emotional side of black metal, and instead of torturing you by ramming murky and blistering black metal down your throat, they exploit your emotions and damn you internally to a pit of despair. Heimdalls Wacht has an innate ability to tap into your long suppressed emotions and make them all come flooding out at once whether you want them to or not.
There is never a dull moment when listening to Der Untergang der alten Welt. Each song is a long epic that forces you to stare your maker in the face and greet him with a feverish and broken smile. As you walk through creeks and valleys and trek through dense and dismal forests, Heimdalls Wacht really makes you feel alone and isolated. A dense fog closes in around you making you feel even more helpless than you did before.
Black metal is meant to be isolating, cold and dreary, but Heimdalls Wacht really plays on all of your vulnerabilities making you feel more than alone. More than just feeling isolated and depressed to the point where you feel the only way out is by shotgun, they make you feel rage and anger all at the same time.
Heimdalls Wacht does a great job of changing tempos and creating atmospheres and soundscapes that make you feel everything at one time. However, with the emotional side comes the relentless onslaught of pure black metal.
Stopping short of having you spiral into a deep and dark depression you cannot crawl out of, Heimdalls Wacht couples the more atmospheric elements with a sharp cutting and focused display of powerful and crunching pure black metal. Spinning sordid and venom covered riffs swim around your skull like sharks that smell blood. Drums cascade over you like a barrage of artillery shells with a bass that provides a buzzing heaviness. The vocals come in three different stages and pour over the music like a beast that’s been stalking its prey. The vocals jump from penetrating screech to a lower more gravel filled tone and behind those vocals are the occasional chant that makes you feel as though you are on a ship or on your way to battle.
Der Untergang der alten Welt is riddled with crippling disparity with injections of anxiety and anger. This release is crippling in more than a couple of ways. Not only does it smack you around with superb musicianship, but it also throws you into lament. The album is re-released, and for long time fans this is a treat and maybe a little bit nostalgic, and for new comers to this band this is the perfect jumping off point.