Now this is clever. Really clever. Being a man who is partial to enjoying the odd drink with some of the darkest musical offerings on the planet, it was heartening to find a release that had been written for this exact purpose. The main draw here is the tragedy – and, oh my, they serve that up in gargantuan ladles and pour gloopy portions of the stuff all over your head.
The journey from that first sip of liquor to the crumpled, depressed and helpless mess that we all subject ourselves to on a semi-regular basis often tends to write itself. The caustic edges are there right from the start but you choose to ignore them until, like blotting paper, they soak into the inner coil of your soul. ‘Teufelsgeist’ is as heavy as records come – purely because it presents such a reality and precisely pinpoints every strand of that which lies behind the eyes of many.
There is a a monotony to the trudging drum rhythms – a funeral to conscious thought, if you will – and the wailing vocal switches instinctively between elation, despondency and the harrowing, nail-filled pits of despair. Harshness doesn’t have to be weaved from the sounds here as what underlies them shimmers through like the icy drops at the bottom of yet another glass.
This record, from such a fine Dutch band with a back catalogue as strong as an ox, makes you want to take the voyage of intoxication and understand how well each level of this descent into oblivion works. At under 35 minutes in length, you are going to have to drink fast – but that could be half the fun – and I have a free day today so….who’s in?