This promo is the second release to the Dutch black metal group Weltschmerz, the previous one being their unfinished debut EP. Now it's time to see if completing their lineup has gotten them any further on their path.

The band's musical frame has stayed roughly the same; a mixture of Gorgoroth-esque riffs and more Swedish-sounding acts, with some additional emphasis having been put on the atmosphere. The songs vary from simplistic shredding to slower parts with cleaner and atmospheric guitar leads, and the riffs' crude but though-out flow and slightly damp and mushy sounds automatically give the songs a dark feel. The growling vocals add to the atmosphere as they don't really stick out of the soundscape, despite their slight rough edge, and the surprisingly clean and audible bass guitar gives the songs some additional structure and pulse, and by doing so they further add to the atmosphere by keeping the songs in steady, natural motion and by keeping them from becoming flat. The drums don't really stray away from the usual, primitive blasting a'la the old legends; the drummer does his part, but nothing more.

Weltschmerz still suffers from the same facelessness as they did on their debut demo. The songs are seemingly okay, the riffs are decent, the vocals are raw... but it all lacks the edge that would make any of them stick to your mind. It was a tasty choice to employ some acoustics and atmospheric interludes, since they give the shredding a good contrast, thus amplifying the power of both the softer and rawer parts. The damp soundscape makes these different ends of the spectrum sound more unified than a cleaner one would and gives the promo some personality, but also softens the instrumentation and thus eats away a good chunk of the songs' edge. The structures, compositions and other foundational elements are decent, but mostly nothing higher than that.

Visually the promo doesn't have much to give, aside of the cover image's blueish hue making it look more original and memorable. The cover slip's inside contains a band picture and all the basic info, but holds no lyrics.

The band has gone forward in their expression, and seem to have found their style's cornerstones. They now have the crudely crafted but study foundation for their future sound, and I hope they'll strive to build something mighty on it. The band seems to have a good style-ear, which makes me believe that they'll come to surpass this promo by a lot.

3 / 5