Review 1668 : Dødheimsgard – Black Medium Current – English

The mystery of Dødheimsgard thickens.

Created in 1994 in Norway, the band led by Vicotnik (vocals/guitar, Dold Vorde Ens Navn, Ved Buens Ende, ex-Naer Mataron) and completed by E. Måløy (bass, If Nothing Is, ex-Khôra), Tommy Guns (guitar/piano, Kirkebrann) and Ø. Myrvoll (drums, Dold Vorde Ens Navn, Nidingr…) announces after eight years of silence the release of Black Medium Current, their sixth album.

The album starts with Et smelter, a long composition which slowly reopens the veil of mystery before letting some whispers escape before darkness traps us with its sharp riffs. The raw screams, reinforced by more melodious choruses, will also join the surge with Old School influences before clean vocals take place in the ice-cold storm, which will eventually calm down and reveal strange tones. Saturation and disturbing sounds will resurface before letting madness lead us to Tankespinnerens Smerte, which will at first reveal its sweetness and originality with surprising vocal parts. We will also have soothing quietness and haunting sounds, as well as heavy and suffocating tones, saturated or not, which will create a cocoon to better add darkness before letting it grow stronger before Interstellar Nexus offers us its complex and jerky melodies, without forgetting this cold touch. Each instrument contributes to give life to this unpredictable and yet very playful hurricane which fascinates us, integrating more modern keyboards and a wild final, then It Does Not Follow will come back to a groovy and catchy Progressive Rock’s softness. The rhythmic makes some discharges of violence appear before being submerged by frantic riffs, only disturbed by vocal parts and strange percussions at first, then dissonance will take over by making them brake, leading us to Voyager, a rather soft interlude which comes to break the rhythm imposed by the group. The mysterious atmosphere is preserved, especially with these last few words, then Halow takes over by imposing a haunting rhythmic on which voices appear from time to time, completed by soaring and almost soothing harmonics. But vocals also keep this ability to change the atmosphere before coming back in quietness, followed by a crystal clear final and then by Det tomme kalde morke, a much more raw and aggressive composition letting Old School influences mix with the band’s complexity. As usual, the musicians will not forget these slower and suffocating disturbing touches between dissonant riffs, strange keyboards and tortured voices, before Abyss Perihelion Transit takes over with plaintive sound and Funeral Doom influences. Saturation will finally come back to make us progress to this strange and unexpected cloud before slowness, this time with a jerky rhythmic basis, leads us to an almost motivating final, which will fade away to let Requiem Aeternum close the album with this unhealthy duet between keyboards and voices while remaining anchored in darkness and the unpredictable.

Never expect anything from Dødheimsgard. Because on this AvantGarde Black Metal background, at worst what you fear will happen, and at best, the band will amplify, distort and brutalize it to make Black Medium Current one of the richest, most complex, unexpected and surprising albums of 2023.


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