After blowing many, including myself, away with their fantastic debut ‘Patina’, it is time these German black metallers prove themselves yet again with their second and much anticipated full length ‘Kainsmal’.
Following along much the same lines as the debut, Geist continue to harbour a sound forged many moons ago by the likes of Ulver (‘Bergtatt’ era); playing melodic black metal with medieval acoustic flourishes. It works for the most part but due to the terrible production, it all sounds too thin and to be honest rather amateurish. The guitars are set too far back in the mix making it all sound really light and airy (something I’m more than certain was not the bands initial intention) whilst the drums overpower everything. You can hear what the band are trying to get at on tracks like ‘Stille Wasser’ and album highlight ‘In Pans Hallen’ with their beautiful acoustic intro and bleak atmospheres but unfortunately when everything comes in loses it in a sea of almost unbearable top end. Although well played and arranged, ‘Kainsmal’ lacks the power and ambience that made albums like ‘Bergtatt’ such milestones in black metal’s history.
With a better production and beefier guitar sound Geist could have made a killer album here, but unfortunately for them it remains a largely forgettable affair. Some of you may dig it but for me this just does not cut it. Very disappointing. (DaveW)