Gestalte is a Dutch black metal band, and this is their debut album. I cannot comment on the lyrics as most of them are in Dutch, but the band's anti-cosmic themes are pretty evident throughout.

Shortly said, if you're into black metal, chances are that you've already heard pretty much each riff on this album. The songs range from brisk Darkthrone-styled traditionality to more atmospheric mid-tempo spheres, but the pleasingly harsh yet overall much too soft soundscape makes sure that the songs' wrath and sorrow are mere foggy reflections of anything truly powerful and impressing, yet alone touching. The riffs' unoriginal characteristics are highlighted by their somehow very emotionless and mechanical delivery which seems even lazy, especially in the mid-tempo parts.

There is some enthusiasm to be heard here and there, such as on the fairly good last song, and the harsh and at times theatrically preaching vocals have a good amount of zeal and genuine effort in them. However, these good moments don't carry even nearly through the length of the album. I am rather picky when it comes to black metal, and this album comes off as way too emotionless (especially regarding the guitars) and lukewarm for me to get anything out of it. It all sounds too safe and worn out, and I'm guessing it isn't because of intentional tradition-worship. Then again, who knows.

4- / 10