Saturnal Records, 25.05.18
Last week was rounded off with an alright, but not essential triple split from the post-atmospheric black terrain. To continue the journey with a brand new triple split from a more traditional heretic black metal discipline, would therefore have been only natural.
Unfortunately, I have to sacrifice continuity in favour of a touch of completism. I can't very well present a split with amongst other Djevelkult without first publishing some words on the Norwegians' sophomore album Når avgrunnen åpnes (When the abyss opens), released earlier this year.
Djevelkult hails from Gjøvik, and was started under the name Skadefryd (Schadenfreude) in 2009, but changed their name before the first demo. The band was started by Dødsherre Xarim (new vocalist in Den Saakaldte, with a short appearance in Crest of Darkness). However, a full band was established in time for the debut I djevelens tegn (2014). That same year, the band launched the live album Hamars litani til Satan, followed by a split the year after.
Since then it's been quiet. Calm before the storm.
Når avgrunnen åpnes offers swift, crass black metal, with a reckless touch of devilish black'n'roll. The drums crackle like rapid-fire while the death lord empties his lungs and sift the air through his serrated throat. The band doesn't attempt to reinvent the wheel. Their necrotic black metal is neither innovative nor original. It is, however, quite effective, if a musical equivalent to an icy storm front of whipping hail is what you're looking for.
At times, the frontal attack is calmed down in advantage of different moods. The contrast becomes noteworthy between the warlike opening with Atomic Holocaust and the more lingering, diabolic Condemned into Eternal Void. The second last song, Apocalypse (Hellspawn) also provides a breather in the pouring artillery.
Når avgrunnen åpnes gradually grows into a highly alright album for fans of rasping, violent barbed wire. The sound is suitably irreconcilable and odious, and high dynamics in the production allows for high volume without a glaring, cutting effect. In spite of many good aspects, however, the album don't come off as a matchless masterpieces within the genre. It's overshadowed by many a release from the decade it seeks to echo and preserve.
I would therefore argue that an acquisition, even for the most necro-orthodox enthusiasts, ain't strictly a necessity. However, when Vredeskvad concludes the release by resounding bloodthirstily out of the speakers, it's not tempting to resort to 3 points, as I was honestly thinking about doing. But even if I don't consider Når avgrunnen åpnes to be a truly remarkable affair, the album is in many ways both grim and ass-kicking in isolation, and it's sharp, profane and aggressive enough to allow you to disagree with my critical statements. Rating: 4-