Germany continues to spawn some of the better black metal Europe has to offer right now, and newcomers Der Rote Milan are another name you’re going to want to become familiar with. Though they’ve only been around since 2015 and have kept their identities obscured (though there does appear to be some overlap with Stellar Master Elite), the band’s debut ‘Aus der Asche’ showcases a level of polish not always present this early on. Containing eight tracks of unrelenting material, Der Rote Milan will release ‘Aus der Asche’ on July 1st independently.
Today we’re pleased to premiere the song Nebel und Regen, the second track from the album. It’s a perfect example of the amount of intensity and tightly crafted songwriting the band is capable of. Right from the start the guitars, bass, and drums all come together to create a wall of sound, and it only takes thirty seconds before Der Rote Milan have unleashed icy blasts upon the listener. It’s the type of unrelenting black metal that recalls some of the highest quality groups from the genre’s second wave, yet that’s not all that these guys have to offer. As you make your way through the almost four and a half minute song, you’ll notice that there are natural pauses from the all-out blasting, during which some haunting melodies work their way into the songwriting. Particularly around the halfway and three quarter marks, the lead melodies swirl around the rest of the instrumentation in a way that will send chills down your spine. Add in the fact that ‘Aus der Asche’ has some polished production values that makes the smaller details audible without taking away from the intensity, and you have a black metal album worth paying attention to.
The guitar work may be what you notice the first time through this song, but it’s also worth mentioning the depth of the vocals. So many black metal bands get a singer who either goes for a high shriek/scream or low growl and utilizes that same pitch to the point of repetition. But even over the course of this single song you’ll notice that Der Rote Milan touches upon a wide range of pitches. The primary style is a higher pitched scream that is reminiscent of a number of different German black metal vocalists, but there are lower growls and just about every range in between to back it up. It keeps the intensity at a maximum level, and consistently feels as though the singer is going to burst through your speakers and stab you in the chest.
If the well-crafted melodies and icy blasts of Nebel und Regen catch your interest, rest assured that the remaining seven songs on ‘Aus der Asche’ are able to offer this same level of songwriting. Der Rote Milan may be a newcomer, but I suspect they’ll be turning some heads in the coming months much in the same way that some of the more established bands have. ‘Aus der Asche’ is out July 1st.