Great German very-Sabbath metal that’s built around some sort of utopian earth worship and playing difficult music. Much of Stormbirds is slower, sometimes psychedelic, goth along the lines of Type O Negative’s October Rust, but without any of the humor. The title track is particularly disturbing, I got visions of lovers walking across an iced-over lake in winter, only to have the ice break and them fall in and slowly drown.
Much of the album is high-concept. For example “Spleen,” sung in French (which I don’t speak) is based upon the poetry of Charles Baudelaire, and “As I Breath the Dawn” (another winter scene) both combine intricate electronic sounds with full orchestras, grand piano soloists, and creepy female vocals. It’s pretty impressive that they could put together such songs, this being a metal record… “Universe” and “A Part of You” seriously rock, yet still contain this sort of high-brow feel. It must be the guitar solos… But the most “amazing” song is the last, a nine-minute instrumental called “Valse Bizarre” that sound like a demon-possessed merry-go-round organ. Man, this is hard to figure out… Nuclear Blast America, P.O. Box 43618, Philadelphia, PA 19106; http://www.nuclearblast-usa.com