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The Bleak Cold of Karg’s “Heimat bist du tiefster Winter”


It’s about to be a banner year for the man known as J.J., vocalist of crushingly emotive post-black metal bands Karg and Harakiri for the Sky. He released Arson earlier this year with the latter, and now, he’s poised to drop Dornenvögel, the latest in a ten-year string of releases with the former. Enter the mind of the Austrian black metal craftsman with our premiere of Karg’s new video for “Heimat bist du tiefster Winter.”

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With Karg, J.J. handles guitars in addition to vocal duties, which he shares on Dornenvögel with a slew of guest performers. “Heimat bist du tiefster Winter” sees him collaborating with Alex, vocalist of Austrian band Amer. The two trade off over the song’s eight minutes, their voices distinct shades of the same base hue. J.J.’s familiar angst-soaked cry, raw as ever, tag-teams in and out with Alex’s raspier and more sculpted approach as they collaborate to detail the unique torment of being trapped in a one-sided relationship.

As the song cascades into its first mournful double-kick driven verse, Alex commences the proceedings while the video’s protagonist writes a letter to an unseen recipient. J.J.’s bleak howls lend shape to our heroine’s solitary existence as she emerges from her remote cabin to traverse a vast, verdant field. The next scene jumps abruptly back to her home, the writer seated amidst discarded pages as the song swells, soon reaching a state of full-blown black metal furor. The viewer’s catharsis at this moment — tremolo wails unleashing the rising tension built over prior minutes — is a far cry from the misery of the video’s sole character. From here, similar peaks and valleys unfold until J.J. finally steers the track towards its restful, contemplative conclusion.

Dornenvögel releases via AOP Records on November 16th in digital, CD, and double-vinyl formats. Pre-orders are available now.

J.J.’s statement regarding the new track:

[The song] is about the isolation one can feel being together with somebody with a cold personality. A person that is just self-absorbed and doesn’t give a fuck about how the counterpart feels. You are in company of each other but feeling terribly alone. You seek for talking and comfort but aren’t heard nor seen. It’s not living, this is like cancer. And it doesn’t even implicitly mean you don’t love each other. It’s just that love sometimes is simply not enough. As Ian Curtis once said, “Love will tear us apart, again.”

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