Absent/Minded Whisk The Listener Through A Thrilling European Metal Journey On ‘Raum’

Germany’s experimental metal band Absent/Minded present a raw and engaging but ultimately huge sound on their newest album Raum, out November 24. They inject a welcome visceral — and almost vicious, really — feel into huge post-rock and doom soundscapes, turning the musical landscape out there on its head. In their musical picture with ever expanding horizons, there’s swampy substance bubbling up in the foreground. One might say that the band’s dark vision feels like the inverse of modern post-rock and metal, revealing the brooding, horror movie-esque currents flowing underneath and presenting them front and center.

The band feels as though they really hold little to nothing back. Raum is huge, length wise, and in the release’s confines, Absent/Minded explore a whole range from soft but uneasy acoustics to full on visceral almost black metal.

Really, the band feels as though they’re telling a story with their work more than they’re simply relaying a series of notes. This feature often ties high quality albums together. Here, the story is fantastical and epic as opposed to something more personal and in-your-face emotional. They really approach perfecting telling a huge and raw musical story, not only staying out of gimmicks but also running full speed ahead into a realm of music that can serve as a soundtrack to the listener’s life — or at least a portion of it.

The music probes and feels alive, ultimately, rather than stagnant. In whatever context one places it, Raum feels like it excels thanks to the dynamic one-two punch of the band’s sonic hugeness and their commitment to staying sufficiently personal and raw. They blend the two elements with unique and welcome abandon, crafting a work that really feels all their own.

The new album could be perceived as stylistically trailblazing, but at the same time, there’s less of an overwhelming focus on crafting something that breaks barriers and more of a welcome emphasis on crafting songs that work — and work well — in the here and now. For proving so massive, Raum feels grounded — which is no small feat, and again circles back to the unifying focus that makes the work stick out.

5/5 Stars

Listen below via Bandcamp.