Folterkammer - Weibermacht album cover

Folterkammer – Weibermacht (Album Review)

Folterkammer band 2024

The expression “you are only as good as your research” is one that speaks to any trade you attempt to master. However, it has profound implications when it comes to the art form of music. In the case of the international Operatic Black Metal band Folterkammer, mixing genres, their mastery knows no boundaries. Composed of Andromeda Anarchia on vocals, Zachary Ezrin on guitars, Darren Hanson on guitars, Laurent David on bass, and Brendan McGowan on drums, Folterkammer have been honing in on something special since coming together some six years ago. Debuting in 2020 with Die Lederpredigt, now in 2024 they return with their second album Weibermacht on April 19th via Century Media Records.

Looking deeper inside, Folterkammer is led by Andromeda Anarchia who has a very all inclusive, and well-trained vocal range. Originally from Switzerland, she can go from purely operatic to gritty demonic sounding Black Metal vocals at the flip of a switch. As she has stated, it took her arrival in New York to make the band what it is. Opting to sing in German, this factor gives a certain structure to the music; because the German language can sound very dominating with just a touch of evil behind it whether intended or not. The rest of her musical team consists of Ezrin, who succeeds to present alternate life into the styling of second wave Black Metal guitars, McGowan who offers dependable creative beats, while Hanson also adds some unique life into the guitars. Last but not least, David breathes fresh energy into what bass can bring to the forefront of modernized Black Metal.

Complete with eight tracks, Weibermacht opens in a big way with “Anno Domina.” Featuring Steve Blanco on the harpsichord, the first track is a beautiful marriage between Opera and Black Metal, and to top it off, you can hear the added sounds of a whip cracking in certain places. This pointed out, the entire album speaks to dominance in life, as well as in the music scene. Furthermore, Anarchia’s brilliant execution and transitional vocals are heard without, but especially on “Leck Mich.” This is while “Algolagnia” is a force to be reckoned with; being as much beautiful as it is evil.

Moving on, you progress into the peaceful intro of “Das Peitschengedicht” which quickly explodes into some very daunting brand Black Metal. Still, the operatic undertones follow where appropriate, and at over six and a half minutes long, you are in for a wild ride. Then, with no regrets, the finale of Weibermacht is an unusual masterful adaptation of The Velvet Underground’s “Venus In Furs.” There is a sorcery quality in this tune’s vocal execution, and as you swim into the witchcraft behind such an unusual version of the song you quickly get sucked into the silent void of the abrupt ending. 

Lo and behold, Weibermacht (which translates to woman power) is a great concept album. Mixing Anarchia’s beautiful Operatic Metal style vocals (slightly similar to that of Therion), she also intertwines Black Metal vocal stylings that are uniquely her own. Opera may not be perceived as dark music, but there certainly are some beautifully tragic operas out there that can easily be related to the concept and style of Black Metal music. Interesting to note, the title of the band, Folterkammer, translates to Torture Chamber. Even more compelling, Andromeda Anarchia herself reportedly studied with a dominatrix to emulate her power and persona to creatively embody that vibe into Folterkammer’s music.

Again, there is not enough praise in the world to give for how special and creatively masterminded the music of Folterkammer truly is. For beautiful songs that are as dark and raw as an old troll’s cave in the winter’s night, Cryptic Rock gives Weibermacht 5 out of 5 stars.

Folterkammer - Weibermacht album
Folterkammer – Weibermacht / Century Media (2024)

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