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Sometimes life is too surreal. A feeling of aimless floating above existence, watching as the Earth seemingly explodes below. I can feel the essence of destruction, but am lost in the vibrant colors and effluence of glorious energy. I am consciously separate, stuck in a cocoon of warmth and safety. This is the essence of Soldat Hans.

Returning with their second album Es taut, Soldat Hans weaves nostalgic audio stories, the musical equivalent to a candlelit fantasy told in a hushed voice. The band themselves carry their performance in an equally orchestral fashion, their now-trademark use of extended instrumentation adding a greater emotional depth to what is already a dense, poignant performance. Concentrating on dynamic range, Es taut is a suffocating doom metal album, but also soft-spoken, defined by lengthy bouts of delicate ambiance and muted voices.

To simply call them a post-metal band (Soldat Hans prefers "downtempo folk doom metal," but I'm not sure about that) seems reductive. Sure, the superficial hallmarks are there -- the strict attention to the most distant ends of the dynamic spectrum, measuring equal doses of beauty and enormity, and an overarching feeling of calmness and serenity -- and yet the end result finds itself so much further than any particular genre's strict definitions. In Es taut's long-form style, strict adherence to anything isn't really the point. It's meant to weave a story -- a vivid opera without the limitations of stage presence. It is surreal and exists solely within the aether of sound -- floating above the explosions of existence.

Es taut will be digitally released March 30th on Wolves and Vibrancy Records, with vinyl to follow on April 28th. Listen to the 26-minute album opener "Story of the Flood" below.

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Follow Soldat Hans on Facebook and Bandcamp.

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