One of our Discord members recommended Motherwood’s second album, “Im Zeichen der Dunkelheit.” The band was unknown to me, but according to their Bandcamp page, they started in 2016 in Brazil and released their self-titled debut album in 2017. Now, almost six years later, they have released their second album. The album is available in digital format, as well as on tape (currently sold out on Bandcamp) and CD.
“Im Zeichen der Dunkelheit” consists of seven tracks with a total runtime of 50 minutes, which falls just short of a few seconds. All the lyrics and track titles are in German, and I will provide translations for some of the track highlights in this review. Additionally, I would like to give bonus points (not that we score albums on this website) to the band for including the lyrics on Bandcamp. I always appreciate it when bands provide the lyrics for their albums. The seven tracks are:
- Im Zeichen der Dunkelheit
- Der stille Frühling
- Ein Wald
- Der Konflikt in mir
- Mein Weg ist frei
I’ll start by saying this album just drips atmosphere, from the first song to the last one. The vocals are right up my alley, and the included synths give an extra depth to the tracks where it’s been used. The drums are also very nice, and band member Guilherme Malosso is doing an outstanding job with all the instruments. The second band member, Yuri Camargo takes care of the synths and the ambiance, and he’s also doing a fantastic job.
The overall vibe of the album is a more of a 90s wave black metal style, there is some rawness to it that I like.
The first track of the album, “Im Zeichen der Dunkelheit” or “Under the Sign of Darkness,” begins with a slow buildup of guitars. This track is a good example of the rawness mentioned earlier. It feels raw and a bit lo-fi, but it works for the track. The German lyrics add another layer of rawness to the overall sound. It’s a great start to the album.
The second track, “Nostalgie,” continues with the raw and lo-fi sound, but there’s a lot of atmosphere in that rawness.
The third track, “Der stille Frühling” or “The Silent Spring,” brings the raw black metal into an atmospheric style with some nice drums. The audio is clearer than the first two tracks, and the vocals are very harsh, fitting the atmosphere well.
“Winternacht” or “Winter Night” is my favorite track of the album. It has everything: synths, rawness, great vocals, and the sound effects of a howling wind that make it complete.
The fifth track, “Ein Wald” or “A Forest,” is an instrumental track that sounds okay. Personally, I prefer these tracks to be either the first or last track on an album, to build an atmosphere or round off the album.
“Der Konflikt in mir” or “The Conflict in Me” is the sixth track on the album. The addition of synth/piano is a nice touch, and the rawness of the first two or three songs is still present. The lyrics of the track are also decent, which isn’t always the case with black metal releases.
A war within me
My thinking is self-destructive
I try to save my dignity
I do not want to be selfish.
“Mein Weg ist frei” or my path is clear rounds up the album and the end of the journey.
I recommend this album for fans of atmospheric black metal with a rawness to it. It may not be for every black metal fan out there, but that’s not necessary. It’s a decent album, and that’s what matters to me, at least. You can give it a try below, or find it on your favorite streaming platform.