But before we go into the album a little more, let's introduce Klamm. The five piece from Würzburg, Germany started out in 2007 as a solo-project by Simon Ludwig. The name stands for 'ravine', explaining the musical direction wherein calm passages precede harsh outbursts of guitars and blast beats. This reminds me of bands like Summoning, Vintersorg and Opeth, to name a few. Yet, Klamm clearly found their own niche and became quite a unique band over the years.
'Ernte' means 'Harvest'. It's a concept album about a greedy farmer with a superiority complex. However, when a natural disaster destroys his crops, the farmer tries to turn his life around but fails miserably at doing so. In the end, he cannot escape his demise. In a way the story sounds like a parable. It is perfectly comparable with modern day society, which is being hollowed by greed and vanity. It's a powerful story nonetheless.
After an opening folk-song ('Anima'), 'Windsaat' slowly builds up until it suddenly blasts out in ancient black metal tradition. In that aspect it resembles the disaster from the story quite well. Yet, this song continuously alternates between genres, at times even reminding me of dark German bands like Lacrimosa. This song is long and complex, bringing in a lot of variation and some surprising hooks. In all, of course, the sound is bleak and breathes a tremendous sense of obscurity.
The complex nature of Klamm is present in most of the songs, even to the extend of incorporating a little bit of dark jazz in 'Ernte'. It definitely keeps the album enjoyable for the entire duration, even if the mainstay is extreme and haunting metal. Here and there strange ambient tracks fill the gaps between songs. In 'Rauch' it seems to resemble the growing insanity of the farmer, before he finally find his demise in 'Zahltag' (which means 'Payday'). Not a happy ending for the farmer but definitely an interesting listen for the open-minded black metal fan.