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Monday, September 26, 2022

Review: Djevel – Tanker som rir natten

Label: Aftermath Music

Date: May 14th, 2021

A million red flags warned me about the new album by this Norwegian “super group”. Starting from the front cover which is unimaginative, to say the least. Not to mention that the notion of such all-star bands never brings along a “sure thing”. Furthermore, this band has been around for just over a decade and already has seven full length albums under its belt. With the average of fifty minutes each, this is either the most creative act ever or the personification of hyper-production.

Another thing I personally don’t like are the song titles that drag on forever. Almost to coincide with the individual tracks’ length. The one short title is the same as the album title. And the song itself is by far the shortest here. It’s an acoustic interlude.

But that’s really a minor detail compared to the rest.

Okay now, for the most important part, her majesty, the music. With a line-up live Djevel’s one must assume a decent creative level. Naturally, when you want to perform black metal in its early second wave form, you have to have a whole lot of creative force to make your stuff stand out of the myriad useless clones. I will confess, “Tanker som rir natten” has a good number of decent ideas. Keeping with the tradition, the trio manages to offer musical solutions that will blacken the hearts it intends to. On the other hand, is there enough of them to fill fifty-six minutes of the album’s playtime?

Not even close.

Djevel, unfortunately, suffers from the same plagues as many of their contemporaries. While their songs do have a doubtless flow, it is extremely easy for a listener to lose focus at any given time. There are a lot of simplistic patches that fill the timeframe, but are otherwise bland and meaningless.

Now, the Norwegians are likely a much better pick than many who make similar attempts of rekindling the old fires. Of course, the musicians themselves stem from the original background to the black metal story so they have some advantages up front. However, one can always look towards the early Darkthrone, Burzum, Judas Iscariot or even Frostmoon Eclipse for such soundscapes.

While one must recognize that the flame still burns within Djevel’s members and they are not exhausted of fresh drive, the one thing they need to do is shorten their tracks. Keep them more concrete and to the point. I have no doubt that will make them hit harder upon the listener.

Oh, and get yourself an artist to do the visual side of the next release. It can’t hurt.

So, seeing how the band has quite a loyal following and a well-established status among the black metal fans, I would expect a shitstorm to come my way shortly. Won’t change my opinion, but these are always a lot of fun.