Einsamkeit is the third release from German black metal act Semen Datura, a pretty solid genre release here in the latter stages of 2009. Combining some of the raw, primal black metal characteristics (manic blast beats, furious tremelo picked guitar riffs, and hellish vocals) with some of the more atmospheric and progressive tendencies that we've seen from bands over the last decade, Semen Datura certainly keep things interesting throughout this 10 song platter.
The first thing you'll notice is the vocals are sung in their native tongue, which is probably going to be a turn off for many listeners, as the German language can be a bit harsh. Musically though, there's plenty to sink your teeth into here. The jagged title track features no shortage of furious riffs and psychotic screams, and "Marschbefehl" is a complete crusher, fueled by a wide variety of fast and slow guitar patterns and manic drum work. At times, there's a feel here that's not too distant from what Celtic Frost were trying to do on Monotheist (especially on "Mental Outlaw"), and in other spots you'll be reminded of early Burzum or Mayhem. Not sure what they were thinking about with the rootsy acoustic number "Vineta", but the two completely progressive tracks to end the CD, "Rieke Stadt" and "Arkona", bring to mind Enslaved at their most adventurous, complete with plenty of keyboard effects, layers of textured guitar work, sinewy bass lines, and a variety of harsh vocal styles.
Despite a couple of flaws, this is a pretty solid and enjoyable black metal album from a band that has a lot of tricks up their sleeve. Word has it though that this might be their last release-let's hope that's not the case.
1. Fons et Origo
2. Unter bleigrauen Wolkenlasten
4. Mental Outlaw
9. Rieke Stadt