Sunday, February 16, 2014

Kampfar - Djevelmakt

Pagan black metal band Kampfar just recently released their sixth full length titled Djevelmakt. I have always been very fond of this band and have enjoyed all of their previous releases. Created by main man Dolk after his previous band Mock split, these guys began playing a folk infused black metal along the lines of Windir but also sounding similar to Taake. These days they seem to be going in a more epic and progressive direction that resembles Enslaved a bit. With this new album they have seem to have found that perfect balance between progression and aggression without losing the folk influence.

The album opener "Mylder" was also the first single released from this album. Starting off with a mild piano intro the song quickly moves into a progressive black metal sound that, as I said, reminds me of latter day Enslaved but with a layer of Moonsorrow thrown in there. The riffs are a bit slower without the signature tremolo riffing of most black metal. There are some clean vocals as well as some flute sounds in the song giving it that folk feel without being flat out folk metal. And the Enslaved comparisons keep coming as we go into "Kujon" with it's slower more progressive sound. "Blod, Ederog Galle" is more typical Kampfar with a bit more blasting and riffs that could have been on Mellom Skogkledde Aaser.

This album has the distinction of having a huge variety in the songs. No two sound the same nor does this album have a typical sound. The second single "Swarm Norvegicus", for example, is slow with orchestrated synths creating an almost eerie atmosphere. Dolk's growls are more aggressive and in your face. The keyboards on some songs are used in a refined way without being too over the top usually as an intro to a song, as with the opener and "Fortapelse", or to create the song's atmosphere as with the blaster "Svarte Sjelers Salme". The production on this album is clean and clear without being overtly slick. As a matter of fact, this is the best sounding mix job ever done by Peter Tagtgren.

This album marks 20 years for this band and it appears that they have no intention of slowing down. This also does not seem like a band that will regurgitate the same riffs just to put out an album ever two years. This album is proof of that. When one talks of a band "progressing" or altering their sound, this is an example of doing it the right way. There is no weak songs on this album. I have all of their releases and love every one of them and this one is no exception. This album is essential for any metal fan.


No comments: