Hailing from Innkreis, Austria, Lichtblick is a band whose music is enclosed in the style of depressive black metal. There are several bands that play this kind of music as one might refer to bands like Burzum, Shining and Bethlehem as some of the best examples of this sub-genre. However, Lichtblick brings a mixture of the modern range of acoustic guitars and mourning vocals that can be regarded as its most powerful component. Sophomore full-length “Abkehr” was released on the 25th, February 2022 via Immortal Frost Productions. The framework of the six tracks blends significant elements focusing on the wall of sound, heavy guitars, and mournful vocals.
The opening track “Geäst” offers a contrast between the heavy guitars and acoustic textures which can trigger a gloomy aura for the listener. The modern sound and the acoustic guitar passages seem to have a unique feeling. Simultaneously, the tempo breaks down giving ample space for the heavily distorted guitars to intense rapidly. Depressive black metal music often convey such platters, offering different colors as Prozac pills and once you swallow them your soul sways between the illusionary world. Lichtblick will make you experience different moods and feelings while the melodies have this captivating sense, they have a very eerie feel to them.
“Under The Ice” is one of these songs where the banshee vocals and guitars seem very adhesive, the slow tempo of the music expands to bring value to the composition. The vocals are prominent even when the tempo changes the lush soundscapes add an emotional feeling to the lamenting screams. The guitar distortion is heavy but often times the tempo renders the power, leaving you in a meditative moment of silence. While many may criticize this particular style of vocals, I personally find it very suitable to this kind of music. Just moments after the strumming guitars, the tremolo-picked riffs kicks in the following track “Geister”, offering a rather thick tone. The way the guitars are balanced allows for complex intersection with the slow pace of the drums and the howling vocals. The drums are well played throughout the album and there is some fast-paced section that gives the song a heavy kick.
At certain times, the drums provide a rhythmic tone for the guitars and within each song the dreamy melodies create dark and evocative moments. With its slow-laden guitars, the riffs flow stuffing mournful sounds, the mixture of guitars, drums, and vocals has a very unique rhythm on “I Feel Nothing”. Despite the variation and the stylistic presentation, Lichtblick’s music is very eerie. The gloomy atmosphere works best when the music builds up to slow ambient soundscapes. The guitars often utilize tremolo-picked riffs but I must say that Lichtblick embraces various styles and not just the depressive style of black metal. There are multiple elements from for instance modern post-black metal, however despite moving into the slow tempos the drums give the music a vibrant tone.
The tormented vocals and muse of instrumentation all fuse together to create a mournful mood. “Abkehr” emphasizes the quirky screams, releasing an emotional and negative aura that leaves its impact on the listener. “Amaurosis” begins with a slow brooding atmosphere and the clear instrumentation of the guitars on this track is followed by lamenting vocals whereas the drums shift to a heavier sound. The somber melodies paint bleak reddish textures like the album cover, the song continues in the up-tempo pacing. Although am not all too familiar with depressive black metal bands, it seems to me that Lichtblick has its own individual sound.
The final track “Mental Breakdown” is where the music crumbles, leaving you empty with the agonizing vocals and the slow strumming of the guitar, the drums on this track contribute less than any other song on the album. The slow tempo caresses the vocals with the fragile melodies, where this kind of juxtaposing conveys some kind of brightness. The faint light of the hope of a tormented soul that struggles with the atrocities of life, is probably the message the band tends to convey on its sophomore release. Unlike bands such as Shining, Xasthur, and Silencer “Abkehr” isn’t the usual depressive black metal album for your taste, however, the album requires some kind of mood to appreciate its gloomy vibes.
Release Date: February 25th, 2022
Label: Immortal Frost Productions
- Under The Ice
- I Feel Nothing
- Mental Breakdown