Schrat – Alptraumgänger (Wow 100% German Black Metal)

 

Man, great art, yeah, love Misanthropic Art. And this is one of the more clever RPG terms-turned-band-name I've seen. WTF you talking about, asks the band. The closest translation in English we have of Schrat is "bugbear," you know, that thing from Dungeons & Dragons? Yeah, I get it, it's old folklore and such, but no one remembers that, anyone who's heard the name thinks of a card table, dice, Doritos, and a bunch of dudes who haven't held a single hand except their mothers' unless it was during a LARP. Thankfully the German term 'Schrat' sounds great by itself, because bugbear does not do these German war machines justice. Damn it, and I just made a stereotypical black metal reference. Kill me.

  

It's no worry, Schrat will do the killing with Alptraumgänger, which can be translated as something like "nightmare walkers." I'm honestly quite amazed at how far German black metal has come recently, because years ago I couldn't stop going off about how awful it was. I knew it for one thing primarily and that was pretending that the most extremely lo-fi sound possible was somehow "aesthetic". Give me a goddamn break, you just suck. Recently, however, bands like Streams of Blood, and now these beasts known as Schrat, have been changing that. What you will find in Alptraumgänger is admittedly nothing new for black metal, but its overall speed, crush, and fierceness are almost impossible to hate. Wrist-slashing riffs, vocals moaning in agony, shrieking as the death swords (read: drumsticks) fall upon thy head, Schrat have got a good, though classic approach. Plus it comes with some impressively recorded live cuts. Usually I hear 'live' and I want the world to explode, but here the quality is so impressive you'll barely notice they were even live. It's only the final few tracks, and the outro/intro in the middle to separate them is somewhat awkward, but hey, how do you like your black metal? Black and metal? Well here you go. Also it's German.

 

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Written by Stanley Stepanic

Schrat – Alptraumgänger
Folter Records
4.1 / 5