Angst Skvadron – Flukt – 3.5/5
Sci-Fi themed black metal? How could I not be intrigued. With a real 70s like tone to the eerie, warbling electronic effects, it maintains a black tone whilst adding that little something different, separating themselves from others in the genre. Atmospheric, in a tone that you wouldn’t expect from such a genre, relying more on sounding alien and ‘creepy’ than overtly demonic, it works surprisingly well. The main problem is that as unique a sound as they present, this is the only reason it really stands out; the musicianship is perhaps mediocre overall, and the compositions a little bland, if retaining an essential sense of melody and not simply sounding aggressive.
Of just two members, much of the commendation goes to the mastermind behind the operation, responsible for the guitars, piano and vocals. The bass is doom-like slow and adds to the backing, but otherwise contributes little. Likewise, the piano is almost unheard throughout the album, instead relying on the guitar to carry much of the melody. Through icily distorted guitar he plays mid-paced tremolo riffs, providing basic riffs that supply an interesting – if not astoundingly addictive or memorable – rhythm to the proceedings. Often complemented by a far warmer, heavily contrasting in tone, it lends clean, powerfully ‘Heavy Metal’ toned riffs (and even the odd short solo) to the proceedings, sometimes psychedelic and trippy in its manner.
The drums feel apt, providing the odd fill but otherwise doing little more than create a backing layer for the music, admittedly given little time to shine in the end result. The vocals again don’t feel bad, but rather poor at varying emphasis or pitch, resulting in a rather lacklustre affair. Instead the final dynamic added to complement the superior guitar work is the array of electronic effects, notably the minimoog (a favourite of fellow jazz musician and space-nut ‘Sun Ra’) as well as a number of other synthesizers used to create their array of odd effects.
The effects could easily be considered a gimmick, but instead the opposite more often becomes true; where they are used most prominently (notably in ‘The asteroid haemorrhoids…’) sees the albums highlight. Where they try to go for more conventional tones it begins to just slip into bland mediocrity; another mediocre black metal band that does little to stand out from the rest. They display potential to be something superb and unique in a genre filled with bland and cliché clones of one another, and that should be pandered to, explored, and abused. There should be no reluctance to cling to old styles as this album feels it is doing, and hopefully in future releases they’ll have the confidence to push things that bit further.
Highlights: Silent Light,Alien Night, A Song to the Sky, The Asteroid Haemorrhoids and the Drunken Sailor