Caspar Brötzmann Massaker

Der Abend der Schwarzen Folklore

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German guitarist Caspar Brotzmann's second release pulled in the reins a bit in terms of (semi) accessible hooks and propulsiveness in favor of a sparer, more desolate sound. There's often a sense of wandering through a bombed out landscape where every smell is acrid, every color harsh or burned. Brotzmann continued to eschew any guitar pyrotechnics, preferring a massed, grimy assault that seems too billowing and chaotic to be constrained by standard rock forms. Wisely, he allows extended lengths for the songs, giving himself the freedom to roam and ruminate at leisure. While there's a bit more vocalizing here than on the first album, it is largely mumbled (in both German and English) or hurled forth in a snarl. The other members of Massaker are entirely in sync with Brotzmann's approach. Lopez' thick, slurred bass and Lommen's heavy, resonant drums sound like natural appendages to the central conception. Perhaps less immediately gripping than its predecessor, Der Abend der Schwarzen Folklore was nonetheless a strong record and gave a hopeful sign that Brotzmann was not going to let himself fall into any "rock star" rut, no matter how tempting.

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