I really like the cover art of this album because it is reminiscent to the vintage progressive scene of the 70's. On the other hand, it does have a Black Metal flavor too. That is basically what you'll get from this album, except that Merkur is, in fact, a Black Metal opus filled with progressive elements and cool musical harmonies.
Their previous release, Der Ort, had a folksier edge whereas Merkur leans definitely more towards the progressive side of the obscure art. One thing remains constant though: this German duo keeps writing intelligent and interesting music combining power and beauty. Their Black Metal is subtle, intricate and contains progressive time signatures in many instances. What I particularly like about Klabautamann is their usage of delicate arpeggios and clean leads that are normally found in the calmer musical breaks that are found in just about every composition. At some point, in a song called "Stygian", they even bear a Genesis (the vintage style) feel. Then you have a bit of a jazzy mood in " Herbsthauch" and in the title track too. On that last one, the guitar solo is pretty similar to what Carlos Santanas would have composed. The acoustic guitar parts are not as present as they were on Der Ort unfortunately, but they are always appreciated and they do bring that little extra touch in songs like: "When I Long for Life", " Morn of Solace" and "Lurker in the Moonlight". To close things up in beauty, the guys choose a nice and laid back tune called "Noatun", which is actually the most acoustic number that also includes flute, piano and mellotron.
Merkur is another great Black Metal opus to come from Germany.
1 Unter Bδumen
2 When I Long for Life
5 Morn of Solace
6 Der Wald Ist Ein Meer
8 Lurker in the Moonlight