Germany brings us a lot of creative metal bands, especially in the gothic metal and black metal genres but to blend both styles with epic imagery and presentation is a rarity. Asmarae is a blackened gothic metal solo project from Hanover, Germany by Marvin Dassios. Dassios released his debut full length last year titled “Die Sage von der Todtenau” which was the first part of his “gothic novel” journey. This year he has returned with the second part of this novel titled “Dunkelsteinschimmersaal I” which explores deeper into the hidden mysteries of this hidden world of Asmarae.
Starting right off, the instrumentals blend together the haunting atmospheres of gothic inspired piano work along with a darkwave vibe of spoken vocals backed with timed growls for the chorus parts. The guitar work is reminiscent of old Lacrimosa but picks up at times with black metal inspired riffs and blast beats. Tracks such as “Asmarae” and “Dunkelsteinschimmersaal” are two completely different styles but give off the same want for more. The album itself rides more along the sides of gothic metal with the heavy reliance on eerie keys and dark melodies but also can keep up with any other metal release in the sense it is still heavy at all the right times. Another aspect that pushes the album along is the spoken interludes that add to that storytelling style and keeps the listener engaged. Dossios has a very fitting voice for the style he plays.
This album is definitely a release that any fan of gothic metal, darkwave, black metal, and even fans of Rammstein will enjoy. Its beautiful, haunting, melancholic and heavy all at the same time so if you enjoy some damn good gothic metal, then grab a copy of this album.
Overall Score: 9.0/10
Review by Neil Andersen