There are a couple of (German) bands with the moniker Todgeweiht, but this one deals with the duo from Thuringia, Grimwald and BluothArn. They started more than a decade ago, but didn’t release but two demos (one was even never officially distributed) as well as one full album. That album, called Pestilenz, was initially supposed to be part of a split with Winternight, nowadays known as Wintarnaht. Wintarnaht is an outfit including Grimwald (and with session / guest assistance of BluothArn) that released an album called Pestilenz too in mean time, yet it consists of other titles. So, as a result, both related projects come with Pestilenz, though being separated instead of gathered under one single banner.
The first material for this album was recorded in 2007, i.e. the string parts, but then everything faded into silence. Finally the vocals and drums were registered in 2012, and later that very same year the whole stuff got mixed and mastered by ArdathBey, known from bands like Blizzard (the one from Baden-Württemberg, being part of the original line-up; not involved after the band’s return) or Chant Of Blasphemy, and at the time of these recordings involved with Winternight as well.
Pestilenz consists of five lengthy compositions and a short outro. The approach is purely inspired by the origins of the mighty Second Wave trend, being Nordic in melody, based on epic structures and rhythmic power, with icy screams and a dense, oppressive atmosphere, and with a sound so dry and raw… But Todgeweiht easily know to turn the whole experience into an own creation, with a characteristic identity for sure. As said, the basic elements are strongly comparable to the greatness of the early nineties’ approach (especially riff-wise, and who are we not to accept this?!), but there are quite some additional aspects, like fine changes in both structure and speed, several noisy excerpts and sounds, a rhythm section that goes much farther than being just supportively repetitive, and a well-thought balance (confusing at first) in between organic spheres and dissonant aggression. Despite quite some length, each composition has its own identity: some being faster and nastier, others rather dwelling in spheres of victory and glory, then again primal barbarism or atmospheric integrity. Zerfall, for example, contains the additional ambience of Shoegaze and a certain bathorian epic touch and a typifying burzumesque attitude; EntSinnen consists of several atonal, dissonant themes; Verganglichkeit even has something progressive in its melodies.
Finally this: despite its length less than one minute and a half, the outro Ausklang is a great piece too: ominous and industrialised Dark Ambient of a mostly horrifying kind – but since this piece isn’t but one miniscule element in such glorious musical adventure…