Beileid is the seventh album release from Bohren Und Der Club Of Gore, a four man project who’ve evolved from a 1992 German hardcore band into what they are today – the founders, masters, and pioneers of the doom jazz subgenre – which blends horror themes with blackened, jazz driven ambience. In the past and at its prime, its has been the perfect replacement for foul, Black Sabbath atmospheres when fast rhythms aren’t quite in sync with the mood – Bohren Und Der Club Of Gore are the consistent go-to alternative for slower, drowsier, aural evils.
Enter now, after years of locked down brilliance, an awkward evolvement, as track #2 Catch My Heart maneuvers to buck the trend and perhaps open up a new avenue of creativity with the addition of vocals. Its dark and bluesy, but for those who have been devoted to the 100% pure instrumental drone of chillness and dread, the vocals of Mike Patton, done well enough, are slightly abrasive to the experienced puritan.
Those craving more of the same, but different, can take solace in Zombies Never Die, which starts the album in standard Bohren fashion. Sedated, heroinly paced, and delicate – all while invoking shadows of Goblin and George Romero’s 1978 Dawn Of The Dead. Its subtle, but its in there. Like something Fran would have drank herself naked to beside the cases of SPAM after Steve was shot and killed – it could be easily slivered into the film and its soundtrack.
Beileid (German for condolence) – the titular and final tag, is a very patient and depressing soundscape of low pads and synths, gently accented with doomed sadness and impending evil, sheltered just slightly, like a campfire in a lone tent on the wide open fields of a frozen tundra. Death surrounding a pale, fading flame of hope. After learning the title’s translation only after giving that description, its does seem perfectly appropriate.
The Final Word: These are the types of impressions left with you in the most delicate of manners when you listen to a Bohren album. And while two-thirds of this most recent album is not bad, with only 3 tracks, it does fall short of a “must have”. Addicted listeners like myself wont be able to avoid picking it up, but newcomers may want to investigate Sunset Mission, Black Earth, or Dolores for a deeper dyed, more blackening doom jazz experience.