Band – Narzissus
Album – Akt I: Wille ~ Akt II: Fall ~ Akt III: Erlösung
Country of Origin – Austria
Genre – Black Metal
Release Date – January 19, 2024
Label – Shape of Storms Records/Fiadh Productions
Author – Hayduke X
Narzissus is one of the many entities entirely or partly the work of the prolific and talented Erech Leleth. Later this month, the brand new Milwaukee based record label Shape of Storms will re-release Akt I: Wille and Akt II: Fall, for the first time in vinyl format, as one record. At the same time, the label will release the brand new Akt III: Erlösung also in vinyl format. Fiadh Productions will also offer new cassette versions of these releases.
As is primarily the case in the discography of Leleth, Narzissus is a variation of black metal. For this project, as is true of Ancient Mastery, Grandeur, and so many of his other projects, Leleth is the sole member. On the first two EPs, he layers exceptional riffs over atmosphere made dynamic by changes in pacing and subtle evolutions of sound. These new editions will feature the two bonus tracks from two different earlier physical releases so that all of Akt I and all of Akt II will be available in one spot. Subtle elements of epic heavy metal and crust can be picked out of various points on these two EPs, but they are first and foremost black metal. The melodic, jangling tones rest upon blistering drums, with Leleth’s signature bellows cutting through to draw the listener in further.
Akt II begins to show some subtle evolution, with some quieter moments woven into the songs, along with some moments of more belligerent attack, but it is really Akt III where Leleth really intensifies this evolution. This whole cycle of music under the Narzissus moniker is a more personal story for him, as he mentions in an upcoming, in-progress interview (stay tuned). And thus, it feels as if Akt III showcases some evolution in his own experience, an evolution which has been manifesting in other, less black metal focussed projects such as Bergfried and Summer Haze ‘99. Elements of prog rock, folk, pop, beautifully rendered clean guest vocals (ala Summer Haze ‘99), and more are all interwoven into the tapestry that is Erlösung. The album is the finale in this cycle of Narzissus, and what a stunningly beautiful finale it is! This release shows all the emotional power available in black metal. While it remains to be seen if this is a final wrap on this particular project, it is certainly not the end of creating music for Leleth.
Pre-orders are available at the following locations:
Vinyl at Shape of Storms Records.
Cassette at Fiadh Productions.
Digital at Narzissus Bandcamp.
Biography: Hayduke X has been writing for MoshPitNation since June of 2016. He is also a contributor to The Metal Wanderlust. Prior to joining the MoshPitNation team, Hayduke published reviews on his own blog Rage and Frustration. In addition, he has DJ’ed an online metal radio show of the same name as his blog, written for TOmetal.com, done interviews for Metal Rules, and collaborated with The Art of B Productions to create video interviews with a wide variety of bands.