2021 Best of Metal: #20 Agrypnie-Metamorphosis

Release date: 8/6/2021

Origin: Grob-Gerau, Germany

Personnel: Torstsen Hirsch-vox/guitar/keyboards, Marc Zobel-bass, Florian Musil-drums

Gonna start the list out this year with a grim one. Even though this album was my first exposure to Agrypnie, it looks like these guys (or, well, guy) have been around for quite a few years and this is album number six for them. This appears to be a one man project by and large and our man, Torsten, is our guide through this murky atmosphere. This album is sung entirely in German. So, I’m not entirely sure exactly what the storyline is, but from the photos in the album liner notes, it appears to focus on the dirty looking dude shown on the album cover. We see him paganing out in the woods in search of his true innermost form. Or at least that what appears to be going on. Eventually, he sprouts antlers in what I’m assuming is the representation of him reaching some sort of pagan nirvana. Or something like that. Hell, I don’t speak German. But, that’s the gist I’m getting. Musically, this thing has your standard black metal framework, but Torsten and the gang never let things devolve into just blastbeats, tremolo picking and bleak screams exclusively. This one takes enough twists and turns to keep the proceedings interesting and dynamic. Very much an album for fans of Behemoth. Hell, this one even contains enough power chords to act a bit of a hook for the non-black metal fan. All in all, this one is a fairly accessible black metal album.

4 flip flops out of 5

Agrypnie-Metamorphosis

Everything on this album is a bit of a mystery. From the name of the band (no clue as to what it means or how to pronounce it correctly) to the fact that the entire album is sung in German, it’s all a bit of guesswork as to exactly what is going on here. But, here’s the weird thing. Even with all the obstacles, I have found this to be one of the more engaging releases I’ve come across of late.

I say it every year. There’s always some black metal band that I’ve never heard of that ends up putting out an album that knocks me for a loop. It seems that Agrypnie is that band for 2021. This feels like a journey album. See that dirty looking dude on the album cover. I think this album revolves around his journey into either some sort of pagan-inspired enlightenment or his actual physical manifestation into a pagan god or creature of the woods. I’m taking a lot of this from the album booklet and accompanying artwork that shows this dude having visions of a human-like creature with antlers and then follows him into a woodland journey through much turmoil and searching which culminates in him changing into the very creature of his vision. Hence, the Metamorphosis! Like I said, for not speaking a lick of German, I got an awful lot from this album. Even though I don’t know for certain my theory of what this album is about is correct, the emotion conveyed through the vocals and music are so engaging that I was just sucked into it from the get go.

This is a good one. Give a listen and see if it doesn’t speak to you in some weird pagan vibes as well.

4 flip flops out of 5