Dirge and Gore
Some things are right there on the page. Bohren & Der Club of Gore has made a habit of living on that page in their own peculiar and particular way. You will see a lot of print about how diverging from form is not something they are known for, and here on Piano Nights, it is no different.
The dark and dusky mood that pervades Piano Nights feels so quintessentially like some club in post-war Dresden or red-lit Berlin that the charm is near irresistible. The music never swings or jaunts, despite the presence of many standard jazz instruments, and instead just floats over the listening space like smoke clouds. And much like the continuity between albums, the song to song presence here is basically the same. It’s permanently midnight and it’s time for some dream-like dirge filled with agony and sorrow.
With all that said, of course, there is a timeless beauty to all the dark and dreariness. It’s almost sublime in a sense that it is so affecting even when the mood is so similar. So whether it is the largely funeral organ driven ten minutes and thirty-six seconds of “Veloren (Alles)” and its shorter companion, “Irrwege,” or the more atmospheric pieces such as opener, “Im Rauch” there is an ultra-restrained sense of beauty in composition.
It might take awhile to come to appreciate the compositions, as it sometimes feels as though the music stalls in mid-air before hitting your ears, but mind that, as a complete document, they provide a supremely intriguing listen. There is no real point in picking too many particular high or low moments throughout the album, as much like their previous albums, Bohren & Der Club of Gore’s success is when you pull out for the panoramic view.