Todtgelichter has always been a bit unusual, but their newest album Angst finds the band completely abandoning any attempts to fit in with the black metal genre. While 2007’s Schemen was an interesting listen, it also seemed like the band couldn’t decide whether to construct typical black metal riffs or experiment with progressive touches, and the result just felt a bit inconsistent. On Angst, Todtgelichter have decided to embrace their more avant-garde tendencies, and the result is an album that’s not only excellent but also much more cohesive.
On Schemen, the weird elements like saxophone and female vocals were unexpected, but here they dominate the songs. ‘Neon’ and ‘Cafe Of Lost Dreams’ feature Marta’s singing prominently, and ‘Oblivion’ gradually shifts from crushing metal into an airy rock guitar solo at the end. Fortunately, the band doesn’t sacrifice much in the way of heaviness despite their new sound, as tracks like ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Bestie’ aptly demonstrate. The songs are all quite well-written, and the stellar production fits Todtgelichter’s expansive sound and creativity perfectly. Angst demands your attention, and rewards it with the band’s most mature and innovative material to date.
Clearly this album gets high recommendations from me, but I would guess that some fans probably won’t like the shift in Todtgelichter’s sound. There’s still a definite black metal feel to some of the songs, but overall Angst is much more of a progressive / avant-garde album than it is a black metal record. I generally like it when bands take a bold step in their sound as long as they have the talent to pull it off, and Todtgelichter have proven with this record that they certainly do.