Just in time for the somber changing of seasons comes Dornenvögel by Karg, dropping November 16 through AOP Records.
Karg is the project of Harakiri for the Sky vocalist J.J. who plays all the instruments on the record and as such features the same depressive, bleak hallmarks, though they are more introspective and muted for a large portion of this album. J.J.’s abrasive shouts are juxtaposed against atmospheric, black guitar lines and solemn, post-rock strains, and each track moves between these moods and styles multiple times as the sounds and textures cascade over you.
It’s hard to point to one standout track on this mammoth of an album, as they all blend together into one overarching experience, though the opening track, “Drangsal,” as well as “Petrichor,” and “Advent,” are all ones I’d recommend out of the album if someone was picky and had to choose only a few tracks to listen to. But what you should really do with this album is grab a cup of tea and stare out a window—maybe watching some falling leaves or the rain throwing itself against the pane and coalescing into rivulets that pull downward—and just listen to the whole thing all in one go.
There’s an interesting lineup of guest vocalists, and J.J.’s efforts in this solo project are impressive, but in the end I found myself hoping for just a little bit more variety. There’s variety within each song, but when the album is taken as a whole, I’m left with the feeling that it’s all more or less the same sort of atmosphere.
I would recommend Dornenvögel, but for now I’m more interested in the sorts of ideas J.J. develops from here, because the biggest feeling when it comes to this record is that there’s a lot of potential that’s just barely out of reach.