EP REVIEW: Entartung – Maleficae Artes

Hailing from Germany, ENTARTUNG formed in 2011 and have released four albums to date. The most recent of which is Maleficae Artes released earlier this year.

Their sound is a very raw but contains a melodic style of black metal. It contains hints of a traditional style as well which works nicely here. It also adds to this already powerful mixture smattering OPETH-esque acoustic parts and a few droplets of folk metal. You’re creating something rather unique. A lot of black metal bands fall into the trap of trying to sound as fast and raw as possible. Which is obviously good, but if you can branch out from that it can really set you apart.

The opening track Tower Of Silence started out exactly how I envisioned it would being Black Metal. It has a relentless savage speed, and I’m starting to think “Hey okay, it’s another really fast BM band, it’s good but it isn’t nothing new.” Then I noticed the song has gone quiet, and a cleanish guitar part starts playing leading to a section which is a rather chilling and foreboding. I now start to see it slightly differently.

What follows is Bortfórd, and it begins with a lovely acoustic part. I know straight away I’m going to like this song. When the song kicks in, there’s a repeating low chant which again reminds me of The Voice Of Steel and I really dig it. I personally imagine a choir of dwarf warriors or something singing those parts, if you’ve seen The Hobbit you’ll know what I mean. This song in particular is one of the best black metal songs I’ve heard in a long time. It’s really taking me back to 2006. When NOKTURNAL MORTUM changed black metal forever for me personally when they released Voice Of Steel. I regard as the gold standard.

The EP changes pace for a moment after this via a short piece called Un Ceil Bourbeux Et Noir. I have no idea what that means but I love how it sounds, a mixture of harmonized acoustic guitars and whispering creates an eerie atmosphere. Circle of Suffering kicks in shortly after this interlude and you’re back in the realm of chaos and darkness. The mid-section gives you time for a breather before you’re pummelled in the face with more of that quintessential black metal goodness.

The EP ends with Aufruhr MDXXV which is a more epic and slow building outro. It kicks in rather standard before slowing down and ending in brilliant fashion.

Overall, this is a quality black metal EP. I haven’t heard any black metal that pushes the boat out as much as this in recent times, it’s not perfect but it’s about as close as you’re going to get.

Rating: 8/10

Words: Ashley Thompson

Maleficae Artes is out now.

Find ENTARTUNG on Facebook.

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