Put in a plain sleeve, black with only the somewhat scratchy logo on it very large, with no info or extras, this vinyl-only album by the obscure Black Metal band, Wanklank comes to you. The three musicians behind this illustrious act are also active in bands like Azanul, Irrwisch, Geistertanz, Sternklang, Nord and Owl and hail from the Black Metal scene of Lobith, the Netherlands. The label on duty, Heidens Hart Records, compares the band to Ved Buens Ende and a slower Kvist. Where does that leave you, as a well-meaning reviewer, when the ground has been cut from under your feet in such precise fashion?
Musically the trio indeed build on where these two Norwegian underground legends left off, on a predominantly slow pace they weave together a stripped down sort of melodicism with the basic heartbeat-like drums and a sharp raspy kind of vocals. The melancholic nature of the music echoes in the equally bareboned production, leaving so much space to each of those riffs and mournful vocals to keep coming back each time around. Basically circling around in a repetitive way to finally whirl up in this sort of one-dimensional vortex of basic elements. The minimalist approach of the band makes for a really unsettling and unnerving listen, but in all its simplicity, fully focussed on those riffs, it allows the album to unfold in its haunting and disquieting beauty.
While the album, which title translates to ‘Where Sounds Connect Space And Time’, does not sound necessarily original, it knows very few equals in terms of ambience and feel. In that respect, Wanklank, Dutch for ‘Discord’, in all its modesty and purity, is quite a unique entity. Maybe, after all, the comparisons with those Norwegian bands might not fit all that well.