Der Geist- The Pain We Don’t Feel

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Sunday, March 17, 2013

Der Geist is a relatively new melodic death metal band from Italy, and their debut album The Pain We Don’t Feel came out last year on CD and received a digital release a month or so ago. While the group does pull out some of the familiar genre styles on their debut there are a number of moments where they go in a more technical direction and touch upon some intriguing ideas. It doesn’t quite manage to maintain the level of variation and hooks established early on, but this band still has a good deal of potential and doesn’t quite sound exactly like the rest.

The instrumentalists showcase a variety of ideas throughout The Pain We Don’t Feel, and listeners will get the impression early on that a lot of time was spent tweaking these tracks to get them just right. Der Geist sometimes utilizes the same type of fast paced melodic leads that are a hallmark of the genre, but rather than simply relying on the tried and true they try to push things in different directions. Generally this involves some technical guitar breaks and tempo changes that help to give the material a fairly different feel and these sections are pulled off in a way that will be sure to hook listeners. Rather than just resorting to technical wankery the flashier riffs actually fit in with the rest of the track they appear on, and even when the group slows things down on tracks like “Desert” they keep the ideas flowing to keep things interesting. However, despite the initial flashiness and strong writing the band started to settle into a formula of sorts by the end. Der Geist doesn’t necessarily copy exactly what they’ve done before, but the last handful of songs didn’t quite grab me as much as the rest of the album and it seemed as though they were heading into familiar territory at that point.

Vocalist Mario Lio makes an immediate impression, as he has a higher pitched scream that is extremely distorted and has a bite to it. His style reminds me of a number of other melodic death metal singers, but the level of intensity that he brings to the material makes a significant difference and helps to add to the overall sound. Der Geist has made sure that Lio’s performance is one of the most prominent elements, as he has been mixed above the instrumentals in a way that allows the vocals to come bursting through your speakers even during the loudest instrumental moments. It’s this type of performance that has always helped to draw me to this particular genre, and it should help the group to generate interest.

The Pain We Don’t Feel wasn’t quite able to maintain my attention for its entirety, but the strength of the first half makes it worth a listen. It seemed to me like Der Geist got a little too comfortable by the end and put together some tracks that didn’t quite have the same level of hooks, but considering that this is only their second release as a band following a 2007 demo I suspect this simply means they need just a little more time to grow. The potential’s definitely there though, and with a few additional tweaks this group could put together an album that’s stunning from start to finish.

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