Korova “Dead Like An Angel” (1998)

Flies are the Cameras of God. Invisibly connected to the intertemporary Frequence of their collective Data-Memory, they are watching from every Corner since Millions of Years, dragging all Seen within them, and if we dare to listen, they buzz their Films into our Dreams…

Back in 1998 – I must have been fourteen years old – I was already suffering from a quite strict idea of what mysterious and pushing-the-envelope metal should be. I still wholeheartedly wanted to keep going on, but at the same time it was as if I had found the mountain’s golden top in a devilish Norway. That is precisely when I discovered Korova’s Dead like an Angel. I got to tell you, and up to this day I still don’t know why: it was an immediate love story. As a matter of fact, it was my first exposure ever to an exotica-flavored kind of psychedelic opera metal. These musicians weren’t evil, cold, suicidal, burning churches wannabes and so-called superior murderers; perhaps not, but that’s mostly because Korova were instead drowning themselves into deeper waters that somewhat had something to do with pure, uncensored and confusing weirdness. They were, so to speak, buzzing flies films into our dreams. Now that’s kind of challenging, isn’t it?

As a matter of fact, there’s often that troubled, colorfully demented and paranoiac atmosphere throughout most of Dead like an Angel. Vocalist and main composer Christof Niederwieser, while distributing his lsd-infused candy songs in a Van Gogh’s sky, often sounds like an altered madman sweetly singing hypnotizing children songs on a dark, bluish melting sea beach from planet Mars. It is not techno music but it’s got groove and swing; it is not futuristic keyboard noise but there are always passages of subtle electronic strangeness in all corners; it is not typical metal music but distorted guitars are riffing forth manias and more raging growls, screams and vocal screeches abound everywhere. It is basically Korova and nothing else and that has marked me forever.

One ought to mention the bizarre yet highly poetic lyrical lines, which are basically as fascinating as Korova’s music can get. These are pure enigmas that a psychiatrist could have taken out of one of his schizophrenic patients diary. Once again very colorful, and singer Niederwieser only adds to their evocative power by singing in a very off-kilter, almost out of tune clean vocal fashion. His voice has to be experienced, it is impossible to only describe it with words, or worst, to even compare it with any other terrestrial singer.

I know the band weren’t satisfied at all with the production, but all in all, even though it was recorded in ’98, the sound has a personality of its own. It is low-fi but drummer Moritz Neuner and bassman Florian Oberlechner both groove with great depth and all of the toms, double bass drums and acrobatic bass lines resonate deep into the overall sound picture. One excellent example of this is Der Schlafmann Kommt‘s mesmerizing finale. The same goes for the keyboards and the great pianos: those are upfront and imposing, twisting every musical shape with unexpected patterns and alien melodies. As for the guitars, one could say that they’re almost only a buzzing frequency in the background, which adds to the feeling that this could not be a metal album at all. There’s even a delirious Christmas song on here, including bells and snowing midtempo chills, which was admittedly composed in January ’98, probably just after a broken bottle Christmas Eve in Hell.

When I previously wrote exotica-flavored, I wanted to mean that it is not dark and avant-garde metal music as we’re normally used to – its darkness is more subtle, perhaps more psychological and mind-bending than Black Metal’s usual black-and-white philosophy. Christof Niederwieser had found a whole new palette of colors to explore with his feverish gang banging, and I must say that I’ll forever be thankful to that kind of “let’s push it further” attitude. At the end of the album, we are even treated with one exclusive song from their ’97 never-released album Echowelt. Every experimental metalhead should lend an ear to this strange masterpiece, as this is pure metal insanity at its peak. Who the hell is playing the lighting-fast pianos on this one? Completely genuine!

Korova’s Dead like an Angel is, beyond all words, a vivid soundwave bridge leading down to your hidden dream universe, where everything possibly perceivable suddenly materializes for your own private mental challenge.

It buzzes a Wave like in dump Fever-Memories
and wobbles sweet Circles around the Child’s Eyes.
Dusk in young senses to warm Realms they drown,
bewitched by the Voice of the Flyman.

… and if we dare to follow, we never will return…

-Oliver Side


Release:  1998
Label:  Napalm Records
Avantgenre:  Asylum Groove Fever
Duration:  52:09
Origin:  Austria
Official site:  http://www.korovakill.com
Review online since:  05.08.2007 / 10:05:01


01 – Europa In Flammen
02 – Strangulation Alpha
03 – Our Reality Dissolves
04 – Trip To The Bleeding Planets (Unto The Light)
05 – Dead Like An Angel
06 – Echoworld Caravans
07 – Der Schlafmann Kommt
08 – Tantra-Nove-HyperCannibalism

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