Windbruch – No Stars, Only Full Dark

Windbruch - No Stars, Only Full Dark

Windbruch – No Stars, Only Full Dark

Hailing from the icy hinterlands of Russia, WindBruch offer No Stars, Only Full Dark on hypnotic Dirge Records; an interesting, yet intriguing take on Depressive Black Metal.  Windbruch is the brainchild of sole member Illuzi Optice.  One man bands continue to pique my interest and this one certainly warranted a closer inspection.

The tag of Depressive Black Metal may be a bit misleading as it can conjure up negative connotations.  American acts Leviathan and Xasthur spring to mind with their bleak tone and shrieked vocals of hopelessness—let me stress that this album has none of that.  It seems to fall more in line with what Woods of Desolation are trying to accomplish.  The riffs are cyclical and hypnotic; songs are long and measured like on “No More Entry, No More Exit”.  There is a sense of foreboding but it is downplayed by cleaner sounding guitars and tight production.

“No Stars” opens with a music box sample that sustains through the song and a haunting synth that works well to accent the mood.  This song is a great methodically paced builder which merges perfectly with a well-placed crunchy bit of heaviness.  Most of the album is instrumental and “Flashback to my Lake” is an ideally condensed example of the mood being set for the album.  “Only Full Dark” can be described as a slowed down version of  Type O Negative’s “We Hate Everyone”, closing with a befitting wave effect.

“Neswa-Pawuk” is one of the few songs that contain lyrics.  It is another marathon of a song and very hard to categorize as it contains but a hint of metal—distorted guitars eventually make an appearance, along with a moderately heavy build up to the end.  This album is unquestionably a chameleon of sorts; constantly shifting styles and leaving you guessing.

No Stars, Only Full Dark is quite an intriguing release.  There is a lot being thrown at the listener and it should be treated like a fine wine, given time to breathe before being re-ingested.  The Depressive Black Metal title aside, this album may be a gift for some looking for a diversion from the norm.  It is very intricate and will unveil many secrets with repeat listens (especially on headphones).  The exploration of this album will be well worth your time.  No Stars, Only Full Dark didn’t just come out of left field—it appears to have come from out of this world.