If The Cure and The Sisters of Mercy got together and made blackened doom, they'd be Verdunkeln - the former for guitars, and the latter for atmosphere. Einblick in den Qualenfall (Ván, 2007) oozes '80s in its rubbery clean tones and reverbed, compressed drums. The guitar intro to "In die Irre" recalls the chewy outro to The Cure's "A Forest." Peter Hook also comes to mind.

In die Irre (excerpt)
Der Herrscher (excerpt)

This is a metal record, though. And yet when it shows claws, they're bitten to the quick. Big, hollow drums dominate the mix (an '80s trait); only "Der Herrscher" gets heavy with its metal. But when it does, boy, does it. This 17-minute monster lumbers into a jog, gains steam, then perspires spiky melodies cooled by wafts of keyboards. The black metal rasps are standard, but the male choral vocals aren't; the last track is basically a gothic chorale, oh-so-Teutonic. Blast my lack of German, as the lyrics are entirely in it, but evidently Verdunkeln means "to darken."

The German black metal elite, such as Endstille and The Ruins of Beverast, have been singing the praises of their colleague. Einblick is one of the more unique records I've heard in a while. Perhaps Ian Curtis is looking down from wherever he is, and flashing horns.

Einblick in den Qualenfall is available at The End.