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"Progressive black metal" is a difficult duality to master. Many fail at maintaining the integrity of structure and riff-based composition while adventuring into various other styles and grasping to the furthest reaches of experimenting, but German duo Klabautamann has yet to do anything but excel in their near-twenty year careers. In the seven years which followed The Old Chamber, though Florian Toyka was busy as part of Valborg, it is obvious that he and fellow bandmate Tim Steffens meditated deeply on the malleability of black metal. How far can you stretch a genre before it snaps? Obviously, with "Into Depression", the dynamic roller coaster ride which opens new album Smaragd, Klabautamann stretched and mangled black metal with tensile strength in mind. With the extensive, folk-tinged progressive rock sections which alternate between emotive, melodic bursts of what is unmistakably black metal, this duo's twinkling expanse is a genre as far on the brink as possible while still retaining important markers: aggression, structured composition, and fury, but through the catalyst of two of modern extreme music's most talented, creative minds.

Florian Toyka's own label Zeitgeister Music will release Smaragd on June 6th, 2017. Head below for a first listen of album opener "Into Depression," with a gorgeous video accompaniment by artist Costin Chioreanu.

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From the artists:

This is one of the few tracks I did the main songwriting for on this record. I actually used the drum-tracks from Mensch aus Gold by Ekpyrosis instead of programming demo drums or using a click track while composing, which was quite enjoyable and inspiring. The Telecaster being my most favourite guitar for years now explains the high amount of clean parts. I never planned for clean vocals though, this is something Tim came up with, and for me it's the icing on the cake! And - of course - the incredible video…

-Florian Toyka, Guitars

Into Depression might not look that depressive at the first sight, but it is the story of a character who is revisiting all his memories, reaching the present at the end, when he is nothing but a ghost in a dead city. Regarding the visuals, the video was made using lots of handmade paintings and drawings and was my personal input to have everything so minimalist-looking. I had enough of blank figurative mask covering everything around me. In plus, I think it fits very well the introspective character of this song.

-Costin Chioreanu, Video

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Listen to other works by Florian and Tim at Zeitgeister Music.

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