Bohren & Der Club Of Gore - Geisterfaust 2xLP


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Label: PIAS

Our Review:

Not metal -- not remotely. So why did they get written up in Terrorizer magazine? Well, this German four-piece isn't exactly a jazz band either, even though they utilize such instruments as Fender Rhodes electric piano, vibraphone, double bass, and saxophone. They're actually really heavy though it's always hard to explain how something this quiet and this pretty can be "heavy". But you'll feel it when you hear it. Their special brand of Teutonic, minimalist, noir-jazz influenced "heaviness" is not to be denied. A Bohren album cannot be properly absorbed in little snippets. The time frame within which their compositions work is not conducive to quick scans or distracting environments -- even the shortest of the five tracks here isn't much less than eight minutes in length, and the opening track "Zeigefinger" is a 20+ minute experience.

At Bohren's usual glacial pace, which utterly starts to alter one's perception of time. The long songs are endless. Eternity telescoped. So spare and melodious. The vast space of Bohren's music makes the listener concentrate and gives each sound extra weight and meaning. The Bohren aesthetic certainly holds that less is more. Even though there's guests -- a tuba player and a choir, even -- augmenting the basic Bohren quartet on several of these tracks, you're never overwhelmed with sound, but with silence. Geisterfaust flows exquisitely. Calm. Cool. Bliss. Stupor. So gorgeous, so heavy.

Basically it's like some utterly slow crushing doom band. The Melvins at their most monolithic, or Khanate or Caspar Brotzmann Massaker or Corrupted with their instrumentation transposed into the jazz realm. The snare only brushed. The distorted electric guitar replaced with the tinkle of a Rhodes piano. Notes not riffs. Played like a dirge, with hints of drone, sombre and sad, but beautiful.