Fjoergyn are known for going their own paths and it's pretty interesting to see them head into different directions and improving their sound over the years. The newest album of this Thuringian band got the trve title "Lucifer Es", but its theme is way beyond the typical black metal "I love Satan" attitude.
"Lucifer Es" is filled with 8 songs (one of which is an intro) which make the album a ~60 minutes long experience. One of these songs, "Terra Satanica", had already been released on the eponymous EP in 2016 and gave a small glimpse on what we had to expect from the new release, yet it turned out that the song is way more electronic than the rest of the release. In fact, the release sounds more like the logical progression after "Monument Ende" than an electronic experiment.
After the slowly progressing "MMXVII" that already starts to build up a dark yet epic atmosphere and the exalted intro-monologue the first song "Leviathan" kicks in with groovy and deep riffing that pushes the song forward and gets supported by midtempo-drumming and a pinch of bass. The speed varies a lot and the band invokes an almost ghostly vibe in the slower parts which is one of the main reasons this album is that intense. Another reason is the pretty dominant keyboard that provides extremely dark, epic and pompous melodies and segments that add to a truly satanic atmosphere and compelling performance. Add some choirs, some orchestration and even some oriental feeling that almost sounds like AlNamrood (see "Lucifer es") and you get why I love this album.
But Fjoergyn would not be Fjoergyn if they stopped being aggressive and so they consistently add cold and harsh riffs and fast blast beats to their sound which is bringing pleasure and work to the neck while your head rotates and a dark feeling crawls back into your ears as soon as the pace drops again. Fjoergyn manages the combination of atmosphere and pure, raw power very well and the escalation between the atmospheric parts is a welcome change every time it kicks in.
The vocals are guided by the changing pace and aggression level and reach from dark spoken words ("Leviathan") over melancholic or harsh clean vocals and Eisregen-like screaming to deep growling and frequently receives some sound effects like reverb or slight distortion which is giving an extra layer to both the vocals itself and the album as a whole. The lyrics however are always pretty understandable, even in the harsher and guttural parts.
While we're at it: The band didn't record this to party (at least not only for that), the album is a big fuck off to a world that gets more and more intolerant and flees into religious bullshit of any kind. Social criticism is pretty common in modern music, but Fjoergyn doesn't simply point at people, they create a story. The band's lyrics on this album are inspired by the bible and tell the story of the everlasting war between good and band, God and Satan and ask the question who is the real bad guy. While doing so the interested listener starts to question them and might even like the way the band is thinking, but even without the deeper meaning the lyrics are pretty good written and the story itself stays interesting for the duration of the album and tons of listening sessions and live gigs afterwards. It's a theme that many bands have covered in the past yet Fjoergyn add their own fingerprint and create something new and interesting.
If you combine all the different aspects of this release you get an album that literally has no bad songs and is unique, intense and simply great. Every song is remarkably different from the other songs, yet everything floats into each other and creates a consistent total picture. "Lucifer es" is bombastic and epic just like every other Fjoergyn-release, yet darker and gloomier the his predecessors. It is really impressive how a band that started with a great debut like "Ernte im Herbst" gets even better on every album afterwards. "Lucifer es" is currently the climax of the band's career and in this spirit: "VIVE LA INQUISITION!"
Es gibt Reviews, die gehen locker von der Hand. Und
dann gibt es die zu besprechenden Scheiben, die et
was Zeit brauchen, aber gerade deshalb auch spannend sind. Zu letzterem gehört das fünfte Machwerk der Thüringer Avantgarde Black Metaller von Fjoergyn. Hier ist vieles vertreten, was manchen Black Metal Bands fehlt, nämlich Ideen. Sollte ich das Konzept hinter der Band richtig verstanden haben, geht es nicht nur um stumpfen Black Metal um des Black Metals Willen, sondern um die Musik als Kunst- und Ausdrucksform. Ok, das schreiben sich so manche der Bands des Genres auf ihre Fahnen, aber wildern im Endeffekt dennoch ohne Ideen und eigene Identität wild durch die Botanik. Anders Fjoergyn. Hier regiert das Epische als Sinnbild des monumentalen Bösen im menschlichen, der Effekt des hässlichen Moments, den es anzuprangern gilt, verpackt in Arrangements, die einiges von Bands wie Samael, Satyricon und Enslaved haben. Hier passiert viel in den Songs, aber es wird nie unüberschaubar und ergibt ein Gesamtbild eines epischen Black Metals, der spannender nicht sein kann. Lavaartige Riffs, die sehr schwer das Unheil verkünden, wechseln sich mit Stakkato-Gitarren ab, ehe sich das Ganze in einem Sturm aus Blast-Beat und symphonisch sakralen Chören in einem Strudel aus High-Speed-artigen Eruptionen entlädt. Teils flüsternde, teils anprangernd aggressive Vocals tun ihr Übriges. Im nächsten
Moment schreddern die Klampfen einem die Schädeldecke zurecht, bevor sich die Rhythmusfraktion entschließt, den Kurs zu ändern und die Sechssaiter zwingt, atmosphärisch im Mid-Tempo die pumpenden Riffs aus den Händen fließen zu lassen. Positiv zerstört wird das intensive Konstrukt der Songs hin und wieder durch getragene Parts,
die aber nur auf den nächsten eruptiven Ausbruch vorbereiten. Auch die deutschen Vocals sind stimmig im Kontext und wirken - wie bei manch anderen Bands - nie aufgesetzt. Klar, manche würden sagen: "die kochen auch nur mit Wasser", aber Fjoergyn verfeinern das Wasser mit erlesenen Zutaten und kreieren so eine schwarze und intelligent gebraute, unbequem schmeckende, aber leckere Suppe, die andere "ach so böse" Bands erst mal auslöffeln sollten, um eine eigene Identität auf die eigene Speisekarte zu bringen. (...)
Freunde von intelligenter Musik und im Text erwähnter Bands, MÜSSEN hier reinhören. Selten in diesem Genre eine solch gute Band gehört.
Fjoergyn is starting to make a name for themselves on the international scene, considering they are an avant-garde black metal band, this isn’t quite a common thing to do. Fjoergyn‘s previous work has attributed to the rising of their star but Lvcifer es can also be considered as an entity on its own that will further clear the path for the career of these Germans.
When you compare Lvcifer es with the previous album Monument Ende you can obviously hear that Fjoergyn has returned more to the core of extreme metal and plays a more heavy and straight forward style of extreme metal. The classical music is still very present in the music but it is more subtly interwoven within the compositions which gives each song a more traditional metal feeling. In contrast to Monument Ende there isn’t a single fully classical song anymore on this record.
The fact that Fjoergyn is attracting the attention of an ever growing international fan base can mostly be attributed to the fact that they play very solid and technical. Extreme metal can be very chaotic, dissonant and filthy, this is not necessarily a bad quality but it makes that a lot of people don’t appreciate this kind of music. In the case of Fjoergyn this isn’t the case, their compositions are perfectly harmonious, each instrument is attributed its own individual role in its very own defined are within the compositions. Each of them gets an equal role in the production, not unlike other bands who let the guitars or drums control entire songs.
The more electronic orientated accents don’t irritate and aren’t an unnecessary surplus as is the case in many songs that use them. Quite the opposite is true, they are very nice interludes and give the album a very varied character. Fjoergyn is been described as a band that will be enjoyed by fans of the classic Black Metal bands such as Emperor, Immortal but also by those who are more into the industrial oriented style in bands like Rammstein and Pain. This may sound strange since these bands are very far off the spectrum of the extreme type of music this band plays, yet because of their technicality Fjoergyn most definitely also reminds us of bands such as the aforementioned.
Yet another side of the sound of Lvcifer es is the melodic nature of the record, it contains some guitar solos that would seem te fit better on a classical rock or metal record than on a black metal one. This eclectic array of musical influences works surprisingly well because it is composed in a very meticulous way in the sense that the whole is more than just the sum of the parts.
The vocals are also non-traditional meaning that most of them consist out of lines of spoken word rather than the typical growls and screams. This gives the whole kind of a cinematic effect that can be compared to the feeling you get listening to the most recent albums of Vulture Industries. This is even being enhanced when it is combined with very bombastic rhythm section and ominously eerie strings.
Lvcifir es is the kind of innovation the extreme metal scene needs to stay relevant and exciting. Contrary to a lot of other avant-garde and more traditional extreme metal acts Fjoergyn would even be fitting in one of the tents on a major festival.
Although Lvcifer Es, the fifth album from German avant-garde black metallers Fjoergyn, may only be the first album I’ve heard from the five-piece but what an impression it’s made! This is a seriously good piece of work.
Lvcifer Es is an atmospherically stunning listen, with the band giving an emotive and empassioned performance from start to finish. Each of the eight tracks brings something different to the table and the flow from one track to the next is fantastic – the fluidity is great and it almost feels like one continuous song with eight different facets to it. The heaviness juxtaposes well against the softer points and in particular, the melody the synth lines adds is perfect.
It’s difficult to choose a particular highlight of the album, as all eight songs are strong in their own way, but perhaps one of the strongest inclusions is Dinner mit Baal, which serves as one of the longest tracks on Lvcifer Es. It takes a while to fully get moving, with Fjoergyn setting the scene well with more ambient and softer melodies and ideas before slowly progressing into a heavier and more in-your-face style. This then morphs into a more stripped-back section punctuated with guitars and whispers before the noise is brought once again, this time in a doomier approach. The song continues to progress in such a way, with the softer sections dividing the track up well into its different approaches, and it makes for a more engaging listen as a result.
As a whole, this is a great listen – I’m just sore that I didn’t get involved with this band’s music any earlier!