Kampfar - Djevelmakt (Indie Recordings)

Folk tinged black metal...
Release Date: 
27 Jan 2014 - 12:30am

Folk tinged black metal?! Before you move swiftly along, I should point out that the folk elements on Kampfar's Djevelmakt are not dominant within these rather juicy tunes, rather they serve to add an interesting (though not overpowering) dimension to them. It all starts with a touch of haunting piano before launching into some sweet drumming and riffage from Ask Ty and Ole respectively. There's a hint of flute in there too but not enough to cause you to ponder 'What the fuck is going on here?!' - I was immediately struck by how well produced and balanced this album is; every riff change and blast beat is clear, which allows the listener to really get in to this rather delightful album.

Kujon reiterates the care with which this album has been produced and despite the majority of lyrics being sung in the band's native Norwegian tongue, I got right into the war-like chanting vocals, which at times became almost ritualistic. Again, the drumming is brilliant. While the tracks on the album are relatively long (averaging around six or seven minutes a pop) there's enough going on to hold your interest. The intro to Blod, Eder og Galle is definitely pagan/folk metal inspired but it quickly gives way to marauding drums and sharp, crispy guitars. Speaking of guitars, the tone on here seems fuller and more well-rounded than a lot other black metal bands opt for, and it's very pleasant on the ear. About four minutes in and everything just goes mental, drowning you in wave upon wave of icy blackness. Dolk on vocals (along with Ask Ty, who also does some vocal work) switches up his delivery so you don't get bored while Jon's bass gets a good look in too.

Tracks such as Swarm Norvegicus (which I believe is the single from this album) have splashes of synthy string work, reminiscent of the opening track, while Fortapelse starts with keys before the blasting drums kick in once more. There are even choral elements to this track but, as I said before, these elements just add to the tracks without detracting from the overall heaviness. Kampfar even throw in a bit of an acoustic guitar intro to Our Hounds, Our Legion before sealing the album off with their signature sound.

Perhaps not for the corpse-painted, black metal purist but pretty sweet for those with their mind opened enough to appraciate something a bit different.