ALBUM REVIEW: Folterkammer - Weibermacht

ALBUM REVIEW: Folterkammer - Weibermacht

Weibermacht will be released April 19th on Century Media Records

New York's operatic black metal act Folterkammer have been delivering their interpretation of black metal since their 2020 debut Die Lederpredigt. German for "Torture Chamber", Folterkammer checkes the boxes of lyrical themes of anti-religion, but also delves into the eroticism and suggestive BDSM imagery with their lyrics. Fronted by the sultry Andromeda Anarchia, the band is set to release their second album Weibermacht through Century Media Records. Have these kinky black metallers topped themselves with their new album?

The album opens with "Anno Domina". With a gritty, distortion-heavy crust-punk riff, the rest of the band joins in. Drummer Brendan McGowan's drums are soaked in reverb, as the operatic voice of Andromeda Anarchia kicks in. With angelic and rafter-level vocal power. McGowan's blast beat drums are joined by symphonic strings as guitarists Zachary Ezrin & Darren Hanson deliver the tremolo guitar playing in the background. Adding to the atmosphere of the chorus. You hear bassist Laurent David's bass ring higher in the mix in the second verse section, adding a little more push in the song. The music is such a unique blend of opera and black metal, especially when Anarchia begins to sneak in little snarls throughout the track. If Tarja Turnen sang on an early Alcest track, which the band nails in it's sound. The harpsichord break after the halfway mark, adds more to the ambience and motif of the bands operatic theme. With the whip crack after it, the song mutates to the black metal sound we know it for. With Anarchia delivering gritty, snarly vocal counts in German is very haunting, erotic and sinister in her performance. The guitars ring in the background of the whipping as the drum hits add to the whip cracks as the song comes to a close.

The opening of "Leck Mich!" has a more slower-tempo opening. With wailing guitars and a driving drum & bass combo, the song has a doom metal element to it. Anarchia's angelic voice starts the track amidst the chugging and tremolo guitars. Her background vocals on the verse adds a beautiful transition into gritty and gravely vocals by Anarchia into the chorus. The riff is very heavy and chugging in its pacing. Almost like a sped-up Candlemass riff, especially with the bass gurgles at parts and Anarchia's vocal belting. Her ability to transition from operatic highs, to satanic depths, is shown so well on the track. With a organ section before the bridge, it gets decimated by the pummeling double bass of McGowan. Accented by an almost arena-rock guitar solo above it, as the song builds to a crescendo-esque conclusion, amongst the snarly vocals of Anarchia shouting the song's title. On "Die Unterwerfung", the sultry German accent into acoustic guitar and harpsichord behind it, gives a reprieve to the intensity of the album. Then BAM!, full blast beats and tremolo guitars, with underlying bass kicks the door to the dungeon down. Anarchia leads a performance of operatic grandeur with high vocals. Before turning sinister with her phlegm-heavy, goblin shrieking that would give Travis Ryan from Cattle Decapitation a run for his money. The undertone of David's bass ringing under blast beats and clean vocals, adds that orchestral darkness you'd get in a symphonic piece. The band's grand scale in production has so much power in the mix. Instantly reminding me of Fleshgod Apocalypse. Wishing that the band would record with a full orchestra to not only add dimension to the band's sound, but TRULY add so much more oomph in the band's sound live.

"Küss Mir Die Füsse!" opens with footsteps and a pummeling drum build. With trademark black metal ringing guitars behind it, the song instantly channels the depths of early black metal like Darkthrone and Mayhem, but with better production. McGowan's drums have so much reverb and punch with every drum strike, almost dominating Anarchia's operatic vocals. David gets to show off a little bass lead in a solo before the end of the verse. Which is out of nowhere, but I like it. Anarchia's goblin vocals return in the chorus, and with the rolling R's, just adds more phlegm and visceral disgust. I'm still impressed by her vocal jugglery of beautiful cleans to ominous and devilish vocals. Like if Floor Jansen from Nightwish could do Will Ramos from Lorna Shore vocals shrieks. An impressive voice and someone to keep an eye on as the band's popularity is starting to rise. The classic heavy metal sounding bridge into the operatic highs creates a whirlwind as the guitars sway with the vocals, and the drums adding the driving pulse of the track.

"Algolagnia" has David and McGowan starting the track in an almost sludge/doom opening before Anarchia's bat-like shriek kicks the door open. Again showcasing her talented range. The riff is classic black metal in it's guitar tone and playing. Vocals are almost demented German becoming more unhinged. From sped up/slow down talking sections, to gritty, phlegmy vocals to spoken word, to her bat-screeching highs. It's so complex, creating a feeling of unease, in a very theatrical way. With it's peaks and valleys, the song is just a roller-coaster of pacing and intensity. Making a chaotic ride with the vocals, and a feeling of losing it as the song progresses. Drums are pounding into the bridge, adding more power to Anarchia's vocal gymnastics of unhinged vocal screams, aggressive dominatrix presence in her commanding voice, and just overall progressive and vibrant vocals. "Herrin Der Schwerter" opens with driving bass, with underlying tremolo guitars and corresponding blast beats. The pace slows down on the verses to let Anarchia even showcase her range. With the music dropping to let her operatic performance really shine. Then, her vocals again go to the unholy depths during the blast beats and tremolo guitars. In a barking, guttural delivery amidst the drums. I also do like the bluesy sounding guitar solo at around the halfway mark before returning to the trademark black metal staple of blast beats and distorted guitars. Showing the band likes to play around with their sound and not afraid to mix up the genre and find ways to make themselves unique.

"Das Peitschengedicht" begins with a very Baroque-era acoustic guitar passage with distorted vinyl behind it. With the band kicking in, with pounding drums and Anarchia's dominating snarly vocals. The complete contrast of the black metal and symphonic/operatic elements is done so well on the track. Anthemic, almost church-like ah's, over demanding and ridiculously fast blast beats, just works so well when the band does it. The musical arrangement is diverse, with the band knowing how to orchestrate it beautifully in the vocals and instrumentation of the piece. The album closes with "Venus In Furs", a The Velvet Underground cover. With cannon like drums strikes and ringing bass, the song starts off with a slow, down-tempo groove. David and McGowan add punch, while the distorted, atmospheric guitars of Ezrin & Hanson adding the other punch. I love the slower pacing of the song. Anarchia's sultry German accent on her singing vocals showcase an almost burlesque-style performance in the song. Which the more I read about the band, the more I wouldn't be surprised if they did a black metal burlesque with them as the house band. A good and unique cover and a good closer to this macabre opera.

Weibermacht is such a step up from the band's debut album. Folterkammer delivers such a unique take on black metal. With the impressive and astounding vocals of Anarchia and the heavy and brutal black metal aggression from the band, this black metal burlesque show is a real treat for the listener. A band pushing what black metal can be, and not putting themselves in a box, which more bands are doing with the genre. I am excited to see where this band goes from here with their sound and their live performance. Now....I just need to learn German.

SCORE: 9.5 / 10

1) Anno Domina

2) Leck Mich!

3) Die Unterwerfung

4) Küss Mir Die Füsse!

5) Algolagnia

6) Herrin Der Schwerter

7) Das Peitschengedicht

8) Venus In Furs (The Velvet Underground cover)

FFO: Cradle of Filth, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Carach Angren

Folterkammer is currently on a March tour with Witching opening. You can check out the band's Facebook page HERE for tour dates and when they will be coming to your town. You can check out the band's music on Spotify HERE .

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