Tardigrada – Widrstand
Release: Demo, 2012 (Fallen Empire Records)
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
Sonic Brethren: Lustre, Walknut, Desolate Winds
The intro to this debut recording from the young Swiss trio sounds like Earth on an overdose of reverb. Clean and dreamy, you would rightfully guess that the following songs aren’t going to sound anything like this. I’ve always found it weird that so many atmospheric bands add instrumental tracks to introduce their releases. To me, intros are something that are used to, you know, build atmosphere. Why would I need more of it when I’m going to be immersed in hypnotic dreariness for the next half hour anyway?
As you make your way through the aural portrait the band paints for you, you’ll quickly discover it’s akin to being lost in a blinding snowstorm. Grey and bleak confusion abounds, and you can’t tell north from south because everything seems the same. It’s just all too familiar, leaving you with an uneasy feeling of hopelessness. And that’s just the problem, it’s everything you should expect from a release in this subgenre. They’ve clearly listened to the hell out of their peers and done their best to emulate them. But that comes at the high price of not bring anything unique to the table. It’s a cold slab of dreamy, blackened lean pork (goat?).
The traditionally long songs subscribe to standard production practices; plastered with reverby tremolo-picked guitars and ominous vocals. But where’s your bass? Where’s your passion? Where’s your soul? The biggest problem with many bands in this category is that they write songs that don’t go anywhere (unlike Wolves in the Throne Room). The tracks are long and drawn-out, yet it seems they only try to write interesting intros instead of focusing on the other 90% of the song. They build up into nothing and fade out into obscurity, leaving nothing memorable.
The whole point of a demo is to get a band’s name out into the world. Charging $7 — a dollar more than the physical copy — for a digital download of one is borderline robbery. Update: Turns out the demo was actually free, but Bandcamp increased the price without telling the label.
They have a damn cool logo and dreadfully pretty album art, but Tardigrada should focus more on their music, and less on their image.
Final Thoughts: A bland demo only worth picking up if you’re a huge fan of the subgenre, and its
high price and lack of originality cost Widrstand its soul.