.@PlanetMosh reviews Djevelmakt by @Norsepagans – released on @IndieRecordings on January 27
Kampfar’s latest offering – their sixth album in their 20-year career – is inspired by its artwork, a 1981 oil painting by Polish artist Zdzisław Beksiński, but is described by vocalist Dolk as “not a concept album per se”. The singer goes on to explain that the album nevertheless has a strong lyrical theme running through it – that theme being condemnation: “It’s anti-religion and not anti-human,” he comments in the accompanying press pack, going on to explain that it asks questions such as “what is reality, what is a dream, where do we end up… are we free individuals, do we decide our own path and faith?”. He also describes the album as a “refocusing of the creative side of the band”.
Performed mostly in their native Norwegian, ‘Djevelmakt’ is a dark, intense work, which draws on elements of traditional black and technical death metal, doom and folk to produce a collection of eight songs that is brooding, disturbing and intimidating, challenging and possessing a density that has very few chinks of light to illuminate its dank corners. As pagan as Dolk and his bandmates’ Nordic ancestors, it is also as brutal in its delivery of its bleak soundscapes, which are built on Ask Ty’s mixture of contemporary hyperblasting and classic metal drum patterns and Jon’s punishingly heavy bass rhythms, over which new guitarist Ole weaves riffs and melodies which draw the listener deeper and deeper into the overall experience of the album.
The songs are thoughtfully constructed, and efficient in their delivery, while Dolk’s deep throat growling adds to the feeling of pathos and hopelessness which runs through this menacing oeuvre, which is complemented by a suitable dark but precise production.
Mylder / Kujon / Blod, Eder og Galle / Swarm Norvegicus / Fortapelse / De Dødes Fane / Svarte Sjelers Salme / Our Hounds, Our Legion
Recommended listening: Swarm Norvegicus
‘Djevelmakt’ is released via Indie Recordings on January 27th.