After wading through oceans of filth when listening to Gnaw Their Tongues then following that with a heavy dose of sludgy doom metal courtesy of Black Royal, I decided to take a step back and spend some well deserved time with Soldat Hans and their latest release, Es Taut.
Soldat Hans is a dynamic, doomy, post-metal act from Switzerland. The band has a huge sound, HUGE, I tell you and I love this record. Nothing quite announces a bands arrival like an opening song weighing in at 26 minutes in length. Es Taut contains only 3 tracks, but oh my, what sweeping, epic, moody tracks they are. Story of the Flood opens the album with a sombre drum pattern but is soon joined by a chorus of droning, crushing guitars and painfully screamed vocals. The Swiss sextet carries the listener through a smorgasbord of emotions, melodies and power. From haunting passages that feature restrained instrumentation to moments of immense, suffocating power, Soldat Hans never runs the risk of sounding formulaic. I honestly found that listening to this song is an almost transcendent experience, it really is quite breathtaking. Story of the Flood seems like an apt song title. You will be swept away in this monumental piece of music.
Track 2, Schoner Zerbirst Part I, clocks in at a mislay 8 minutes, though don’t think for a second that the band rest on their laurels. Opening with a dreamy-like passage, this moody track is heavy lyrically, though it has a much more radio-friendly approach to its structure. This song is vastly different from the first and shows that Soldat Hans can write songs and play however suits them.
With Schoner Zerbirst Part II, we start in a similar vein to the first song in the way that the beginning is quite sombre and subdued. You can’t help but feel, like previously with Story of the Flood, that it is only a matter of time until the band opens up and floors you. I want you to imagine the most unusual of pairings for a moment. Just picture Pink Floyd joining forces with Amenra for a 19-minute jam! This is what I’d imagine it would like. Can you imagine? No, okay, just give this track a listen and see what I mean.
In case you have failed to notice, I love this album. Es Taut is one of those records that moves you as a listener. It takes you on a journey through so many different feelings and emotions that you can feel quite exhausted by the end. However, when all is said and done this is what I want from music, for it to move me, and move me this record does. Excellent.
Thanks to Viral Propaganda PR for a digital copy for the purpose of review \,,/.
Four long years following the release of their first album “Dress Rehearsal”, Switzerland-based doom experimentalists Soldat Hans return with a new full-length titled “Es Taut”.
Set for release on March 30th via Wolves And Vibrancy Records, “Es Taut” was recorded in Winterthur by Philip Harrison and mastered by Magnus Lindberg in Stockholm, and sees the band following the same trajectory explored on “Dress Rehearsal”, merging elements of doom, post-rock, drone and dark jazz to craft music that sounds utterly depressing, haunting and enigmatic and yet extremely engaging.
Invisible Oranges have recently premiered the album’s opening song “Story Of The Flood”, commenting “Concentrating on dynamic range, Es taut is a suffocating doom metal album, but also soft-spoken, defined by lengthy bouts of delicate ambience and muted voices.”