Schwarzer Engel
In Brennenden Himmeln

Label: Massacre Records
Three similar bands: The Vision Bleak/Rammstein/Amon Amarth
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
01. In Brennenden Himmeln
02. Der Untergang
03. Auf In Den Kampf
04. Der Fährmann
05. Hymne Für Den Tod
06. Feuer Mit Feuer
07. Psycho-Path
08. Grenzenlos
09. Rache
10. Im Schatten Des Todes
11. Drachen Über Eden
12. Schwarze Sonne
13. Krähenzeit
14. Verneinen (bonus track)

Dave Jason - Vocals, Guitars, Drums, Composition & Orchestral Arrangements
Jens Lindmaier - E-Guitar (Live)
Stefan Grießhammer - E-Guitar (Live)
Bert Oeler - Bass (Live)
Marcel Woitowicz - Drums (Live)

2010 Apokalypse
2010 Geister Und Dämonen EP
2011 Träume Einer Nacht
2013 Schwarze Sonne EP

Johanna von Orleans
Stefan Dittrich
El Friede

Mix and mastering by Jan Vacik at Dreamsound Studios, Munich
Cover artwork by Season Zero

Released 2013-07-26
Reviewed 2013-08-08


Black Angel is the translated name of this band and judging by the album cover of this, their third album, it appears that black angels in form of ravens are coming from a burning sky. Destined to ruin this already broken city they descent towards the ruins which are already set in fire. Maybe that is what it is all about, maybe something else. Maybe the world is burning because of global warming, maybe it is just the road traffic that creates those fires. But Schwarzer Engel probably does not care about my interpretations of their album cover and title, it is a one man band created by Dave who does it all on the records. But Schwarzer Engel is not just a one man studio band, he also has a band for his live shows. That means that you don’t only hear this band on record, you can also see them live if you like and if they come to a place you can visit.

Schwarzer Engel can be said to be rather diligent with their third album since the debut in 2010 and atop that they have two EPs released where the latest Schwarze Sonne had two tracks that is also present here on this album. It is gothic, dark metal where the vocals are presented in german. It is well produced with a very nice soundscape and a decent variation. It is not particularly innovative but rather typical gothic metal with some heavier additions, maybe some touches of gothenburg melodic death metal here and there. I can think of several bands to compare this with and I don’t really think there is too much discerning them from many other bands. The performance is flawless though and the vocals are amongst the best in the ranks but the album is long with thirteen tracks playing for well over fifty minutes and the digipak nearly reaches the hour mark. A quality presentation that can be argued to be going on for a bit too long, kind of like those gala things which could be cool but tend to be rather dreary, or many movies that don’t know when to end.

But I am not saying that this is dreary or bad, it is a good album that overstays its welcome slightly. The music is very likeable, the songs are mainly very good and the atmosphere of the album is what a gothic album is about. It feels dark and moody, and it starts off brilliantly. Thing is though that as a reviewer it is important to analyse and validate things you review in a bigger picture and albeit this is well performed and the material holds a high quality it still lacks originality and when listening you can’t help to feel that you have heard it before, countless times. I think that it is a bit unfortunate that there are so many bands making solid music that forgets the need to make this music their own. Schwarzer Engel would need a more individual style if they want to stand out in today’s music scene.

If bands like Eisregen, The Vision Bleak, most gothenburg styled melodic death metal bands, Rammstein and many more similar bands appeals to you I am quite sure that this will appeal to you as well. It is an impressive production and a strong album, a bit too anonymous for my taste but nevertheless it is an album well worth checking if you are into the gothic metal.



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