Tardigrada – Emotionale Ödnis
(Fallen Empire / Eisenwald)
Black metal is known for being hateful and/or satanic music, but what initially ignited my interest in the genre so many years ago was bands that make black metal that is evocative and deeply emotional. While it may seem oxymoronic, it’s usually the black metal that is depressive and bleak that I find to be the most invigorating. The ability to make powerful and defiant music in the face of depression and all other negative emotions is a sign of triumph and true strength. No other band illustrated that better than Tardigrada on their debut album, Emotionale Ödnis.
The Swiss troop craft powerful black metal, rife with melancholy and gloom. The band’s songs usually range between nine and twelve minutes in length, and they pack a lot into each composition. Each riff is a balance of melody and ferocity, mixing second wave black metal riffing with the atmospheric textures of DSBM. The vocals on the album really stick out, as they sound incredibly pained and intense, like the vocalist’s life depends on you hearing his passionate screams. Each song is preceded by a short, delicate instrumental interlude, showing a glimmer of hope before the cavalry of riffs descends. Each song sounds like the band is fortifying a system of defense, building a wall to shut themselves away from the outside world. The name of the album translates to “Emotional Desolation” so it makes sense that music that illustrates a feeling of emptiness and loneliness to also illustrate feelings of isolation, reflected by the album art. Tardigrada have proved to be a powerful force, proving a band can showcase feelings of depression and desolation while simultaneously creating empowering music.