Av Maane Og Natt
Aftermath Productions 2013
Norway's kings of traditional black metal sound/style have returned with their sophomore effort and i must say I am once again blown away. Djevel is pretty much the only band that still manages to accurately capture that mid 90s Nordic black metal atmosphere. You hear it immediately when the deliriously cold melody blows out of your speakers on the title-track. It's so beautiful and moving and haunting at the same time. The speed of the drums and the effortless flow of the guitars captivates my ears. The track drops into slower, more ugly segments that inject the feral, hate-filled mood into the music. As Aapne Graver Og Tomme Kister begins you notice upward sweeping melodies which conjure mental images of the wind blowing through trees in a forest, that splendorous autumnal roar. The guitars and pace slows, like a break in the wind, and you feel a sense of forlorn nostalgia settle in. Marefar rocks and sways while the guitars alternate between speedy melodies and slower, lumbering passages. There is a moving piece, a moment of clarity, where all the instruments cease to reveal a single guitar. However this is cast aside and the drums are once again blasting away at an insane speed. However, no matter how fast the drums are going, the songs always feel like they are somehow slower, controlled by the melodic surge of the guitars. Tornekroner has a bit more of a dirty, roughened aesthetic to the songwriting. The melodies rise later in the song only to be subjugated by the hammering drums and the blackened riffs. The instrumental Blant Fjell Og Falne is a work of deep, echoing majesty, like an undiscovered grove in the heart of the forest. The dancing guitars give your mind a chance to collect itself and explore darker expanses before the might of grand melodies once again stream in on Sternesluker. The feverish riffs collide with guitars, spiked and barbed not unlike some of song structures on Darkthrone's Transilvanian Hunger. The final track Saa Tok Alt Slutt builds on the foundation of swaying melodies with muted guitar breaks and bass drum that soon give way to a simmering, fuzzed out guitar that meanders like a path in the snowy forest. The riff picks up some bombast as all other instruments drop out and the guitar looms heavily over the fabric of the song. The blasting riffs fly into the song's fabric once again, punctuated by distant, clean vocals. This adds another level of ancient power to the song and this atmosphere carries the song to its conclusion. Djevel have surpassed their previous album and have once again proven that they live and breath 90s era Norwegian black metal spirit. Djevel is true, organic black metal that speaks of true communion with nature and all of its freezing majesty.