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Verhinderer – Der Kettenritter

verhinderer – der kettenritter


After three smaller releases, two demo’s and an EP, this German one-man act returns with its first full-length album. Considering these are all done in the very same year, with a new record coming up already, we can safely call Bettler a very prolific musician who seemingly have no problem in getting his creativity to flow freely. And while you are not slowed down in your creativity, the danger of helming your own one-man project naturally lurks in the fact that that lack of braking power can also lead to an endless stream of trials and disjointed products whose quality is not always guaranteed. In the case of Verhinderer, one can speak of some incoherence of what is offered musically, but as long as these are demos, intended for that purpose in the first place, there is no problem, and we don’t need to talk about weakening musical quality at all, because ‘Der Kettenritter’ has become another excellent piece of work…

On his previous outputs Bettler already experimented with various elements freely used in the Black Metal genre, sometimes sounding a bit harsher and more basic, other times more atmospheric, also experimenting with Ambient and lightweight Folk elements and weaving acoustic passages through the music. The demoing clearly paid off, because on ‘Der Kettenritter’ we can actually hear back all those previously tested components: the basis of this debut album sounds quite rough and somewhat primitive, almost American style-based Black Metal, cold and repetitive, but it is further dressed up with a beautiful atmosphere.

Take the title track for instance, which has a guitar tone not much unlike the American Black Metal juggernaut Leviathan – it breathes the same cold, almost industrial sort of eeriness. But as the album progresses it starts to show a mellower and more atmospheric side, especially the last two tracks are beautifully crafted moody songs. It is clear that the maturing process of the Verhinderer project is still going on in full swing, not only in the way Bettler is bettering the balance of his songs in terms of its utterly rough and raw basics with his talent for creating a truly mesmerizing (Medieval) ambience, but surely also the overall coherence has improved.

It is only occasionally that you can hear that his initial intentions are not always resulting in a flawless musical concept, like in the beginning of ‘Tanz Der Unterschicht’ where the piano part, while it is clear that Bettler tries to translate the “tanz” into music, feels a little out of place. But for us, who follow Verhinderer’s development from a distance, it is mainly that progress that stands out. In this case, the ever-stronger compositions, in which Bettler understands the art of combining Raw Black Metal with deep atmospheric passages, lead to Bettler’s most cohesive and downright best performance so far.