“This guy lives in his own little cosmos” – most people who are the target of this phrase have to endure mockery and taunts rather than admiration. In this case, astonishment is the least of the attributes Christian Kolf’s recently recorded masterpiece “II” should be able to collect in the attempts to describe it. If admiration joins these attributes, I would not be astonished, as “II” flatters the ears of the listener from – yes – it’s very own world.
A few months ago I already had to focus my attention and admiration on the quaint, dark album “Glorification Of Pain” of Kolf’s band VALBORG. Now another, equally big surprise hits us these days with the second opus of GRUENEWALD, which sounds like… like… damn, how does it sound actually? Is it a proud, but somehow eccentric bastard of Doom and Post rock? It might be, at least sometimes. There are enough moments which unfold slow and silent; which almost – but only almost – sound blissful and soothing; and yet somehow they carry the spawn of a coming storm in its calmness. Don’t you take “storm” literally, though. It is more like an opressive, menacing black cloud if the opener “Geist” gathers speed only after nine minutes. “Geist” = german for “ghost”, and the rest of the marvellously produced “II” continues as ghostly: You won’t hear singing in a conventional sense; it is more as if Christian Kolf and Jan Buckard invoke the faint memories of not really corporeal natural phenomenons. Especially the guitars conjure warm and beautiful sounds, although they transmutate to something more ominous towards the end of the album. With their dense guitar sounds, GRUENEWALD do not need to fear comparisons to ANATHEMA, LONG DISTANCE CALLING or even PINK FLOYD.
The artist himself opens the drawers “experimental” and “minimalistic” on the ubiquitous how-to-categorize-music cabinet, and this little joke to shoo away the consuments of mainstream music is hereby forgiven. But anyone who is willing to open some more drawers and climb into the dark innards of this cabinet to watch a performance of GRUENEWALD’s “II” there will surely return with the insight that Mr. Kolf DOES arrange, experiment and play music in his very own cosmos.
Once again, the Zeitgeister Musikverlag proves those critics wrong who accuse this productive bandcollective of musical incest. Besides KLABAUTAMANN, ISLAND and VALBORG, GRUENEWALD develop their very own musical identity – individual enough to shut these critics up once and for all.
written by Thor Wanzek for Metal.de,
translation by Tentakel P.
01 – Geist
02 – Zwei Namen
03 – Funeral Winds
04 – Tails