ALBUM REVIEW: Perchta – D’Muata

Hailing from Tyrol, Austria, Perchta have exited since 2017 and are now releasing their second album, D’Muata (Prophecy Productions). Named after a goddess of Alpine Austrian paganism and led by Frau Percht, the band seek to marry a feminist perspective with folk-inspired black metal, whilst also focusing on the regional traditions of Tyrol. 

A glance at the lineup shows that dulcimers, zithers, acoustic guitars and a traditional instrument called the Teufelsgeige are included alongside the standard rock instruments. It is also notable that all of the lyrics are written in Tyrolean vernacular.

Sonically, D’Muata (translating as “the mother”) hits hard right from opener “Vom Verlånga”. As exemplified on that track, throughout the album acoustic sections give way to terrifying waves of all-encompassing tremelo-picked black metal. Whilst there are songs that lean more into the folk (such as the all-acoustic “Heiliges Bluat”) or metal elements (such as the truly forlorn “Långtuttin und Stampa”), the record is notable for its combining of these two aesthetics simultaneously. The dulcimer and other acoustic instruments generally continue to be played over the ferocious black metal sections, adding a mournful counterpoint to the walls of metal noise.

Perhaps the most impressive and electrifying feature of D’Muata is Frau Percht’s vocals. Bewitching and frightening, she alternates between truly blood-curdling screams, mysterious whispers and beautifully commanding melodic vocals. Listening to her often feels like being present at some kind of purging ritual, such is the emotional rawness. 

D’Muata’s heavy sections, whilst viscerally fierce, are more slick than those in your average black metal. There are several virtuosic guitar solos (on “Vom Verlånga”, for example) and some songs (such as “Ois wås man san”) get close to melodic death metal territory. Whilst black metal purists may find these segments a little too precise and perfect, the record still contains plenty of raw and maniacal textures.

Album highlights include “Mei Dianä Mei Bua” with its flowing and majestic melodies; “Heiliges Bluat”, which features a particularly moving and furious vocal performance; the seemingly relentless blastbeat sections of “Långtuttin und Stampa”; and the title track, with its soaring vocals

D’Muata is a profoundly intense and cathartic listen that borrows from both the folk and extreme metal genres to create an experience as stirring as it is horrifying.

Buy the album here: 

7 / 10