As previously announced, Berlin based Black Metal formation Shrike have been very, very busy: In June 2013, they released their album Hinab in die vertraute Fremdheit, and not even a year later, Sieben (translates “Seven”), Shrike’s third album, hits the stores. The title refers to the seven years of band history Shrike can look back on, and Sieben should set new accents in their music. I had some problems with Hinab in die vertraute Fremdheit; getting their music wasn’t easy for me – with Sieben this was different, also because the album itself differs very much from the last one.

Sieben is overall much more forward and impellent than its predecessor – and a little bit more dirty. Where Hinab in die vertraute Fremdheit (translates “Down into the known Strangeness”) sounded too arty, Sieben scores with a more authentic roughness; being more wild, more primitive. The German lyrics seem less forcefully constructed, but come more naturally to the audience – and that’s what brings them closer to my taste. Starting with “Kreise”, a hybrid between intro and first song that sets the pace, becoming almost groovy towards the end. Without a pause, “Kadaver” commences and convinces me with its riffs, fluently chancing into “Shrike”, that starts with Bongo drums – very archaic! – and becomes a neck breaker. My favourite song on Sieben is the rather slow and doomy “Von den Farben der Sehnsucht”, a seven minutes long and somewhat psychotic tour de force into the depths of a strange desire. Especially the vocals here add, as well as the guitars, to the gloomy feeling that oozes from “Von den Farben der Sehnsucht”. With “Grimassen”, a similar sounding piece, Sieben comes to an end.Shrike-Band

Sieben presents Shrike as very diversified and multi-layered – I like that! Production is not outstanding – too bad on the one hand, for Shrike could really win me over here, especially concerning the drums! On the other hand, this still is the underground, so I have to admit I find this quite charming. Only thing that irritates me beyond anything: Why produce an album called “Seven” that contains only five songs? My neurosis can’t stand this!

Shrike, I still don’t really get you – but just keep things going, you’re doing a great job!

Shrike – Sieben
Release: 11.04.2014 / Distribution: TWS-Music
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1. Kreise
2. Kadaver
3. Shrike
4. Von den Farben der Sehnsucht
5. Grimassen

Total: 30:19