From their first two demos in 2018 and then their breakout self-titled debut album the following year, NACHTIG have stormed the gates of sadness with some of the most soul-penetrating black metal melancholy of recent times. Mainman V. V. is no stranger to the scene, of course, numbering as he does labelmates VALOSTA VARJOON and COSMIC BURIAL, but NACHTIG is arguably his most personal project, on myriad levels. The successive Der stille Wald full-length in 2021 proved this with a passion and poignancy that was spellbinding - and spellbindingly SAD - to behold.
That album maintained a monolithic aspect at a towering 55 minutes, and thus does NACHTIG return with a comparatively more compact record in Eisig' Romantik. It's still epic, to be sure - four songs in 45 minutes, each one hovering around the 11-minute mark - but it's the sensations within that truly render the album an EPIC of breathtaking, daresay-beautiful sadness. Its predecessor spiritually nodded to early '90s doom-death, with the Spartan piano of yore largely replaced by a haunting fog of synths; Eisig' Romantik maintains a purer black metal core, but the synths hover ever more dramatically here, often directing the crescendo of emotion to cathartic heights - or, rather, depths. But it's V. V.'s characteristically heartaching riffing that really pushes the record into the halls of greatness, as layers of majestically melancholic riff seamlessly twine into said synths and utterly damning catharsis continues as each minute builds and blends and builds some more, all without dipping down the tempo. There's actual energy to this sadness, and it MOVES.
Completed by a plausibly professional production that doesn't negate the raw grit of emotion, NACHTIG's Eisig' Romantik is bound to be the year's saddest black metal record - and one of the most engrossing.
1. Ewig Kalt 10:51
2. Die Alte Welt 10:31
3. Eisig‘ Romantik 11:40
4. Der Klang Der Natur 11:25