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Geistlicht – Hidden in the Mists

geistlicht – hidden in the mists

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Sometimes I think about the good old days, when you wouldn’t know a thing about a band except for the appeal of the album cover, the excitement of discovering something based on a piece of artwork alone. That was the feeling that came upon me when I saw the cover artwork for Geistlicht’s debut album `Hidden in the Mists’ in a Spotify release radar. Although that list is often a source of disappointment, the cover image intrigued me enough to check out the offered track `Lonely Path Through the Mounds’. And in this case, it didn’t disappoint.

Geistlicht is a German band hailing from Hamburg, although that’s pretty much all the background information there is to find. Oh, they do reference the artwork that adorns `Hidden in the Mists’. The landscape was painted by the Austrian painter Carl Hasch, who painted `Jägerrast vor tosendem Wasserfall’ in 1897, the same year he passed away. Much like the painting that to me evokes the feeling of wandering through beautiful landscapes, layers of keyboards and melodic guitars paint a dreamy canvas for Geistlicht’s atmospheric Black Metal. While most of the time the rhythmic section operates at a medium pace, tracks like `The Darkest Night’ and `Chant of the Dead Shaman’ feature plenty of uptempo sections as well. There is a mild rawness to the guitar sound, and together with vocals that are as much screams as they are growls, form a fitting contrast to the bewitching melodies. While aforementioned tracks `The Darkest Night’ and `Chant of the Dead Shaman’ feature a bit more tempo, `Cold Oblivion’ and `From Under the Roots’ operate more at medium pace and at times almost lean towards a Doom Metal sound. The title track even closes off the album in a completely Ambient fashion. The result is a journey through seven musical landscapes that vary from fierce to epic and dreamy but are all captivating in their own way.

Unfortunately, it seems that for the time being `Hidden in the Mists’ will only be available digitally. Fingers crossed these recordings will eventually be given a much-deserved vinyl and CD treatment. As for the thrill of discovering bands through artwork, the atmospheric Black Metal landscape that Geistlicht has painted certainly lived up to the intriguing cover image. (VincentP)

GeistLicht

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