Brünndl – Brünndl
In the world of metal, a little sense of melody goes a long way. All the NWOBHM bands understood this, and that’s what made them such an enduring influence on metal across the world. Nothing beats a memorable riff, an afterthought vocal line, and a driving beat.
Few other genres can really nail this combination, which makes Brünndl so bizarre. The album was simply labeled pagan black metal, which made me assume it was going to be the standard tremolo-guitar blast beat orgasm. While black metal is easily the strongest influence on their debut, there’s a lot more going on under the hood.
Out of the blue, the songs will effortlessly shift into standard rock beats. The vocalist randomly starts doing one of those folky wails, and the guitars start playing discernible riffs. You’ll start tapping your toe, and then you’ll start moving your head. Then, out of nowhere, you’ll realize you’re on full-out gonzo metalhead mode, spitting blood from your mouth and air-guitaring this shit until the walls cave in. And finally, when the riff’s about to grow tired and return you to reality, the whole switches up again and you get all hyped to slaughter some more goats and rub them all over your effigies of Vlad Tepes.
The only real way to understand is to do a thorough analysis, so take “Magaan”. It starts with black metal, twists into a folk-metal crawl, returns to black metal, turns into a sea-shanty, and ends up as melodic barroom death metal complete with a shrieked oi ending every verse.
It’s all over the place, but none of the seams show. They don’t bat an eye, like they’re veterans who’ve churned this stuff out for decades. I think Brünndl’s rockin’ attack will have a longer shelf life than the blackgaze and post-black atmosphere trends. While eventually artsy-fartsy dudes with face paint always go out of style, dudes with face paint who rock the fuck out will live forever.