Tardigrada is a quite interesting project, as they seem to have a real concept behind their band, at least concerning their first demo tape Widrstand. The cover artwork of Wolfgang Belzebuth illustrates a biblical scene, the one of Babylon. The band references to both (the story and therefore the artwork). Read on if you want to know how and why… or if you are just interested in the music.
Tardigrada was found in the switzerland, back in 2010, consists of three members and they released their first lifesign (this demo tape) in may 2012. The demo tape consists of four songs with a total playing time of 31:22 minutes. The concept behind Tardigrada was hinted through the babylonian cover artwork and the fact, that “Widrstand” is switzer-german for “resistance”. Nearly all of the songs (Hoffnungslos is the only one in “normal” german) are held in switzer-german which shall speak for a broader variety of language in art/music. Although the concept of different dialects in music isn’t new or innovative, it’s not widespread even. Maybe some artists like Tardigrada and of course Lunar Aurora can make a change?
The concept is, nevertheless, still a bit more innovative than the music is in general, as you won’t find any really new, sovereign impulse on the demo. No need to stop reading though, as “lack of innovation” doesn’t mean that the record is bad or not worth listening to. The first track Uftakt (which means “prelude”) starts with a really calm and pleasingly melodic guitars, that are full of reverb though and some nice samples (you can hear birds tweeting etc.). Although this construct is rather basic, it still manages to set feelings of departure, disregarding the upcoming storm that can be heard in the background of the quite nice melody. The following tracks bring, how else could it be, the aforementioned storm with many cold riffs, which are defined through the melodic and varied dual-guitar leads. Although they are quite varied, they never lose the golden thread, somewhat similiar to the vocals which pend between rather low and really high-pitched screams. Although the guitars manage to create a really beautiful and yet threatening atmosphere, they are quite thin in terms of sound, but that isn’t really a problem as the vocals are filling the space up.
Especially the middle sections of the songs are as genious as they are, because the guitar sound is so thin, as they sound quite lost in the wide landscape. The vocals are, as mentioned before, pending between low- and high-pitched screams, which can even become as high as the “owl”-like screams of Aaskereia. The only instrument that won’t really fit into the soundscape are the drums. Although the bass- and snaredrum are quite audible, you can’t say that in terms of the cymbals as they often dissappear in the frequencies of the guitar sounds. This is quite sad, as the drum plays really varied patterns but they can’t really by heard as they lack power. Sometimes samples are used to spice things up, but they never get citchy, although there are the cliche ones like strings at the end of Hoffnungslos.
Besides that, nothing really important left to talk about: You will find well played, atmospheric black metal, which most special element is the used switzer-german dialect (although you won’t understand a single word, though…). There are quite some bands featureing similiar music, but I have to say, that Tardigrada can be highlighted as the songs are really rounded and suiting each other. Some songs remind me (especially the vocals though) of the german Fäulnis, and besides the huge similiarities to other atmospheric black metal bands there are some similiarities to cosmic/space black metal projects like Alrakis.
Although there are some flaws on the first output of Tardigrada (the lack of sovereignty, smaller problems with the production etc.) I have to say, that the over all impression is quite well. This can be traced back to the high quality in terms of songwriting (at least for a demo tape) and orchestration, which some greater bands still don’t achieve. I would recommend you to buy this piece, as both, demo tape and CD are quite limited.
Date of release: May, 14th 2012
|Total Playing Time:||31:22|