For 15 years now, BERGRIZEN have been standard-bearers for the new wave of Ukrainian black metal which honors the old. The work of one Myrd'raal, BERGRIZEN have released five studio albums and even a live album, nearly all of which have been released in some manner by PURITY THROUGH FIRE. Just this autumn, the band released a stopgap album in Orathania, largely comprised of ambient and dark folk with fierce-yet-fleeting moments of black metal. Now, born in the hardest days, BERGRIZEN deliver their all-new (and all black metal) album, Die Falle.
Arguably their most immediate and organic recording to date, Die Falle reaffirms BERGRIZEN as masters of autumnal black metal melancholy: magick, mysticism, splendor, and strife are all write large across the album. The passion literally sizzles from every note, every drum hit, every torn throat here. Indeed, Die Falle was born from strife, as anyone following the war in Ukraine can attest. Its genesis dates back to late summer 2021, but work was forced to stop in winter 2022. As the band explain, "Believe me, it's a very difficult to write music when the missiles are flying over your head and smashing buildings on the streets. It's a very difficult when you are sitting without electricity 12 hours per day or sometimes even more than 24 hours. Also, Myrd'raal was in a hospital - he had some problems with his lungs - and the way to record the vocal was uncertain. Other band members were spending all their money, energy, and time for the volunteering, trying every day to help soldiers and their friends who were on the frontline. We weren't sure that we would be able to finish Die Falle, but we wanted to say something about the situation in our country through music."
And that they do across the album's five-song/42-minute runtime. It's a consolidation of everything that's made BERGRIZEN so paradigmatic of modern Ukrainian black metal, but also a windswept treatise on how far their grandeur can stretch; with three of the tracks clocking in at 10 minutes apiece, the scope is vast and penetrating, and so are the chills. Die Falle, in essence, is that perfect middle point between authentic "underground black metal" and black metal that aims for more - plausibly, and with success. No sane listener will be spared the poignancy of BERGRIZEN's increasingly daring dynamics.
"Looking back on our way," the band conclude, "sometimes it is hard to believe that we did it. Die Falle is a very important album for us because it's unique both in terms of music and the story of creation. We support Ukrainian art in every possible way. And if someone wants to explain how to create music, especially black metal, sitting on a comfortable couch, welcome to Ukraine."
1. Ich vergesse nicht 10:20
2. Ich vergebe nicht 10:07
3. Der rituelle Mord (Öffnung der Tore) 06:04
4. Die Falle (Der Wanderer 3) 10:02
5. Verschneite Winternacht 04:34
playing time 41:07