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Eïs - Stillstand Und Heimkehr album review

Multi-textured black metal odysseys from the dark heart of Germany

Eïs have written their most direct and cohesive material yet on the two-song, 22-minute EP Stillstand und Heimkehr. An Den Schwarz Besandeten Gestaden opens with the calming sound of waves lapping underpinned by a minimalistic piano figure before blasts and harsh riffing coupled melodic guitar lines and Burzumstyled screams destroy the tranquillity. The song then shifts through ambient and doom passages before returning to dense tremolo-picking and faster tempos. The title track takes a slower approach initially, finding power in a Behemoth-esque mid-paced stomp until the trajectory swiftly changes through blistering double-bass and throttling, yet somewhat ceremonial guitars. Eïs’s two albums since changing their name from Geist toyed with similar gothic textures and orchestral arrangements as heard on this EP, however the duo of Albîon and Abarus have struck a finer balance between naturalistic atmospherics and desolate black metal here.