For the better part of a decade, the Austrian duo Harakiri For The Sky have been making a version of black metal that’s shot through with beauty, longing, and crushing sadness. Their last album, 2018’s Arson, is something you should really hear. One half of Harakiri For The Sky is a guy who’s known professionally only as JJ, and he’s got a one-man project called Karg. (German for “Barren.”) Early next year, Karg will release a new album, the follow-up to last year’s Dornenvögel. JJ has just shared an absolutely huge 10-minute song from the album, and it’s gorgeous.
Karg’s forthcoming album is called Traktat. (German for “Treatise.”) Opening track “Irgendjemand Wartet Immer” (German for “Somebody Is Always Waiting”) is a sweeping multi-part opus. Parts of it sound like Godspeed You! Black Emperor at their most unabashedly beautiful, and parts of it sound like raw, mysterious black metal fury. Plenty of parts sound like both. This is some real good cold-weather music, and you can hear it before.
On the new album, JJ says:
“When I began writing Traktat, I was about to explode. Things started falling apart at the very beginning of the year, what left me distracted and anxious till the end of summer. And when doctors tell you that a depressive episode like this will last around or more than six months, without a treatment, then I’ve to agree with them, they are totally right. This, and the circumstance, that I travelled quite a lot this year, trying to run away from a distemper I couldn’t control anymore, is what makes Traktat a very personal album, musically as lyrically. That’s also the reason I wrote much of it on the road. I wouldn’t say that the previous Karg releases were less personal, but this one holds a special place in my heart. Also, it’s the last part of some kind of trilogy, which started with Weltenasche nearly for years ago and continued with Dornenvögel in summer of 2018. To me Traktat is some sort of manic depression, which has its ups and downs, loud and quiet at the same time and with a tailspin like every second minute. Quite a lot to bear, and full of emotions I desperately had to get rid of, as I was exploding anyway.
Traktat is out 2/7 on AOP Records.