Kampfar – Djevelmakt (Indie Recordings)

Old is cool. Older is colder!

Kampfar is being on activity from 20 years now, and to celebrate this milestone they’ve just released the album Djevelmakt which is according to the band is the natural successor of the prior work Mare.

In order words Kampfar has evolved from its primeval roots which put the basilar sound, to new heights. Let’s not say this is an experimental album, because it would be a prosaic statement. This is indeed, the very old and cold Kampfar with new elements that gives a different nuance or angle to the whole framework or modus operandi that the band has been using for 20 years.

Some call them Viking, some call them folk, and every one of these statements is untrue. Actually they are Norwegian Black Metal proper. Nothing else.

Mylder, the first track showcases a shabby mid-sequenced keyboard sound and in a matter of seconds the band explodes into Kampfar does best: A mix of mid tempo-music with explosive blast beats and moderate use of chords, for while it is creative and totally non-minimalistic it’s still hard to get the differences between riffs as the songs goes, but they are there and this sets the framework for the remainder of the album. Croaky vocals in its sublime ode to the Norwegian music and culture entice those who are 30-plus headbangers that had lived the heyday of the style. Does this mean simply nostalgia? Not here, buddy. Let’s say this is the return of what never went away.

Kujon with its blatant marked pace introduces an impeding doom rifferama and as I said between the lines, this is another song of the cold and medieval North while the freezing cold weather is degrees below zero. What a cadence and perfect equilibrium.

Blod, Eger og galla follows the same groundwork, but have this said, this is an album that only can be admired in all these stances by multiple spins in order to take part of the gravitational world of Kampfar!

I particularly lose it with the track Fortapelse because it’s so perfect and nocturnal and brings the whole looming mood into the fold.

Other excellent numbers take place like De dodes Fane and Svarte Sjelers Salme, but it’s in the melancholic-ten-cathartic last track Our Hounds, Our Legion that make me want to book a flight to the extreme North just to feel the hyperboreal force of nature. This track per se is not so different from the entire opus, but as the last song it adds more variants as the last farewell of an album that has few, but exact elements to make a perfect Black Metal opus.

Kampfar is more than ever in the forefront of the movement they helped to create and shape and respect is the least you can offer to this Norwegian Institute of Art!

(Daniel Death)


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