Schrei Aus Stein plays an ambient, trance-like, black metal that consumes you with sound. Their style sounds like it’s straight from the desolate slopes of the Rockies—sorrowful and contemplative. Most of the songs on this album are immense in sound and in length.
The guitars are layered in many places to create a world of sound in which you can pick out patterns and melodies continuously as the song lumbers along. In this respect, Talus is similar to the noisy black metal band Wrath of the Weak, but a little less raw. The drums sound slightly in the background on the first song, so you have to turn the volume up, which really allows you to enter into the mood of the music for the rest of the album.
This album leans more on the ambient side than the black metal side. Some of the songs have sparse drumming and rely on the haunting atmosphere mainly, where as others carry more traditional black metal drums. Schrei Aus Stein have some really innovative sections. In “Lenticulars,” the last half of the song is dominated by guitar sounds that mimic the howling and whistling of the wind perfectly. With rising and falling intensity, the song’s structure is not interrupted, and these winds evoke the deep chill of isolation.
The vocals are much more relaxed than most black metal bands, but they work very well with the mood. Instead of the agonized wails of many depressive bands, the almost whispered vocals help to create a feeling of being haunted by mountainous spirits. Which opens up the question of whether this haunting is negative, comforting, or something altogether different.
The album comes in a DVD case, which is always a bonus. The covers match the music perfectly—gray rocky slopes with some patches of snow as if seen through a cloud.
The name Schrei Aus Stein is a reference to the climbing movie of the same name, and on the band’s website it states that the music is “inspired by the experience of climbing in bleak alpine terrain in Colorado.” If you’ve climbed the fourteeners here, you’ll connect with this music. You’ll have visions of timberline fading away in the distance, and the despair of reaching a false summit.
Talus is not an album that you can just simply listen to it is an album that you have to explore. Every repeat yields previously unheard tidbits and unfelt passages. Schrei Aus Stein is a colossal addition to the diversifying Rocky Mountain black metal scene.