If you’re like me, you hear angry metal voices in your head and frequently find yourself resuming consciousness in places where you didn’t necessarily intend to be. If you’re like me in more socially acceptable ways, you fvcking love Harakiri for the Sky. Something about those cloying tremolo-picked melodies coupled with J.J.’s soulfelt screams just fucking does it for me in a way that I can’t get enough of, so checking out homeboy’s one-man blackened adventure, Karg, was a no-brainer while I waited out February’s Arson. Thank Jørn I did, as it gave me the opportunity to properly anticipate the project’s then-pending 6th full-length release, Dornenvögel, and likewise be that much more satisfied by its utter fucking greatness. You don’t get that painful privilege if this is your first time hearing of said fucking greatness, but don’t worry: it’ll still be fucking great when you do hear it.
Confirmed Karglings and listeners with reasonable expectations will find nothing surprising about how strongly Dornenvögel‘s melodies recall those of HftS; what is somewhat surprising, however, is just how straight savage this stuff trvly is while still sounding so similar to that same sky-suiciding sweetness. Subjectively speaking, I’d say this solo stuff scratches the HftS itch to smithereens. J.J.’s distinct melodic signature is all over Dornenvögel, as is the aggressive black core that balances out HftS so well, yet the slightly heightened emphasis on Karg‘s core ov kvlt killer instincts yields—in my indisputable Muppet opinion—a superior creation altogether. Even the absence of III: Trauma-style solos fails to elicit a complaint from me; these tracks are simply too enjoyable to need anything else.
As far as the added aggression goes, almost all of the album’s animalistic atmosphere arrives à la awesome assaults against the microphone. The lyrics being screamed in German inherently ups the intensity of the vocals (to my sensitive English-programmed earballs, anyway) and the powerhouse pipes performance this time around only kicks things up a notch or thovsand. There’s something going on here that’s at once more earnest and more furious than anything I’ve ever heard from J.J., almost like it’s somebody else behind the mic…
Because it is! Well, often, anyway. J.J. blows the doors and windows out of everything around, and into the wreckage wanders a swarm of A-list guest vocals, an atmoblack infestation ov sorts. The various vengeful voices that haunt this hallowed offering hail from such esteemed blackened acts as Ancst, Ellende, Downfall of Gaia, and several others, with each of Dornenvögel‘s eight tracks featuring a guest appearance. This element lends the already engaging album a shifting sense of liveliness, with each track offering a tasty new seasoning to compliment the goodness ov this atmoblack stevv.
Whether they’re card-carrying collaborators in the kvlt ov Karg, high-spirited HftS henchmen hoping to hear their heroes or else some form of general connoisseur that defies alliteration, fans of the malignant and melodic metal methodologies which make atmoblack the emotional monster we know and love are likely to eat Dornenvögel right up. Melancholy and rage is always the right combination, and here we find that J.J. has perfected the formula into something brutiful and trvly list-worthy. Be a better person, stop sucking, and get you some Karg!
Tracks to Check Out: “Heimat Bist Du Tiefster Winter,” “L’appel Du Vide,” “Drangsal”