Today, German black metallers Häxenzijrkell stream the entirety of their highly anticipated second album, Urgrund, at the No Gleaming Light YouTube channel. Set for international release on Walpurgnisnacht (April 30th) via Amor Fati Productions on CD format – the vinyl LP version shall be released later this year – hear Häxenzijrkell‘s Urgrund in its entirety exclusively HERE.
Ever since the release of their first demo tape back in 2016, Häxenzijrkell marched on their very own path towards the bottomless pit of darkness. Raw and resolute black metal was the German duo’s foundation; the mysteries of the beyond was their goal. And thirsty and miserable was that march, stridently suffocating the listener (and perhaps themselves) with epic-length screeds of despair and dread, culminating in two more EPs as well as split EPs with LVTHN and Brånd in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
Alas, the bottom of that bottomless pit dropped out completely with Häxenzijrkell‘s debut album, Die Nachtseite, released to widespread acclaim (as well as terror) in 2020 by Amor Fati. Sonically consistent with their prior works yet wielding new twists to their trademark horror & howl, Die Nachtseite marked a further step: a ritual divided in three parts – the Path, the Flame, and the Awakening. And again do the band venture further into the boundless beyond with another three-part full-length, Urgrund.
Mercilessly melancholic, strangely regal, and altogether ceremonial in its inexorable march into an impossibly vast unknown, Urgrund is in many ways the perfect counterpart to its equally towering predecessor. Here, Ugrund is divided into three epic tracks – one topping 18 minutes, the other two over eight – that form the foundation for 36 haunting, heaving minutes. Sinister atmosphere is still Häxenzijrkell‘s forte, but whereas Die Nachtseite tended toward the suffocating, Ugrund is wide open and spacious…for a time, that is: by “Part 3,” an avalanche of hypnotic blasting speed buries the listener, all before unravelling and then evaporating back into the inky depths. Massive, to be sure, and somehow concise – Häxenzijrkell possess some strange magick. No hope, no light!
In the meantime, hear Urgrund in its entirety exclusively HERE, courtesy of the No Gleaming Light YouTube channel. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:
Tracklisting for Häxenzijrkell’s Urgrund
1. Part 1: Die Entschleierung [18:20]
2. Part 2: Von Zeit und Form [8:12]
3. Part 3: Der Pfad der Finsternis [8:42]