"Galeere" (Lupus Lounge; 2009)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"Galeere" is an amazingly successful and epic black metal concept album about the mysteries and menace of the seas. How do I know this? The entire album is recorded in the band's native language (German - of which I don't speak a word) and yet, as I listened, I could feel the vibe that the band was trying to convey. Before I even began to do a little research on the band, I knew "Galeere" was an album about the sea. Any concept album that's able to communicate that clearly across language boundaries is a successful one in my book.

The shortest song here times in at 8:26, the longest at 15:44. Throughout each, the band never flags, raging through each track with furious guitar flailing that's almost punk rock style backed with a powerful and fast-paced rhythm section. Despite the fact that the lyrics are sung in German, the vocals -- although typically black metal rough -- are amazingly clear. I may not have been able to understand what was being said, but I didn't feel I was being fed growling gibberish, either.

If there's any complaint here, it's that each song uses the same guitar technique and, hence, they all sound a lot alike. This may not be so obvious if you understand the German language but I don't, and I have to focus completely on the music here. Regardless, it didn't really lessen my opinion of the CD.

In the end, "Galeere" is all about atmosphere. Even without the various samples and sound effects that appear here and there, the music is designed to convey the story setting and it succeeds brilliantly. Far more subtle than something like by, say, Alestorm, "Galeere" will almost put the ocean's salt air into your nostrils and the lonely sound of wind in sails in your ears ... and it'll kick your ass with some serious black metal at the same time.

Geist: Cypher D. Rex  - bass, vocals; Alboîn (Florian Dammasch) - guitar, synth; Marlek : drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright © 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 10 Jul 2022 15:03:28 -0400 .