Trance Of An Unholy Union

”Trance of an Unholy Union” is the second CD from Heidenreich, side-project of Peter K. of Abigor, who intends to explore farther with this project than he does with the main band. I loved ”A Death Gate Cycle” despite it’s obvious lack of material (less than 30 minutes length, even with lengthy monotonous synth interludes), so this album did not disappoint me. This is 40 minutes long and goes further, even if losing a bit tightness along the way. This is truly astral black metal, it succeeds where someone like Covenant failed: it captures the atmospheres of cold void, hell and destruction, uniting them, instead of just grasping at some vague sci-fi inspired threads of star- mysticism.

Lots of keyboards here, worst when they are being pseudo- classical (think Emperor), best when they are being 70’s prog space synth (think Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze). You could say it’s ”mature”, the way they incorporate those sparkles of crystal clear computer-generated sound into the intros and interludes of this album. It’s a bit of a pity that they didn’t go further and incorporate this feel into the parts where they ”go black metal”.

For the most parts of the music, Peter is playing with his guitar a stream of complex riffs you have heard in later Abigor, at times verging on the brink of being very straight-forward melodic heavy metal. He takes that risk to get through the ”astral majesty” feel. A drum machine blasts carefully programmed, but simple rhythm; in the mix, it’s volume is surprisingly high and you may get annoyed by the machine if you have something against using such. Thurisaz as the vocalist uses mostly his articulated black scream, but breaks up the routine with his melodic clean parts which work at their most effective when they appear multi-layered in the climax of the title song and ”Shadowweaver”. The album is sprinkled throughout with movie samples and little synth passages that do not always form continuity, but fragment this work into an atmosphere of chaotic ethereality. You hear this often in modern ”sophisticated black metal”, but it does not regress this because the spirit is intact: it’s black metal (if not entirely un-commercial) all the way.

The most experimental thing here is the last track, ”Heart of Midnight/Genocide”. The first part is Peter playing some wandering chords on the guitar in a blues-y manner, his wife accompanying with the piano. The track ends into industrial apocalyptic thumping, which I would like to see them use more in the future, if there is a future for them.

© 2000 black hate