De Underjordiske

Ind I Flammerne

Written by: BV on 03/09/2015 20:06:27

I’ve been following De Underjordiske for quite some time now, yet I was a bit late according to some, and according to others my intrigue sparked at just the right time when I saw their stunning performance at the 2014 edition of Copenhagen Psych Fest. Lyrically I’ve been intrigued from the first time I heard the single “Trold” and the soundscapes found on that track were also particularly mesmerizing, but I still had quite a lot of doubts on how a full-length from their hand would sound, simply because being an amazing live band (which De Underjordiske most definitely are) doesn’t always translate into particularly focused studio work.

With “Ind I Flammerne” the band seems off to a great start. Opening with the ominous title track, De Underjordiske seem hell-bent on creating dim, evocative moods similar to the imagery found on the beautiful album cover. Dimly portrayed, yet highly explosive imagery supported by lyrics on par with other Danish bands like Fribytterdrømme and Spids Nøgenhat, whilst portraying a very less is more oriented approach to melodies and chord progressions – to great success, I might add, as the one-chord drones that occasionally make their appearances supplement the constantly looming promise of riveting, mythology-fueled lyricism.

Strangely upbeat tracks are also present on “Ind I Flammerne” in the form of “Hvis Du Forstod” and “Under Skyggernes Kniv” which both sound strangely elated, yet always keep the somewhat darker nuances present as if to convey a consistent emphasis on the introverted aspects, and the parts of our minds we are not always willing to roam. It’s quite smart to have these up-tempo pseudo-hits as they offer a break in the otherwise crushingly gloomy lyrical universes created, and conveyed, by vocalist Peter Kure’s slightly nasal and powerfully charismatic voice.

On “Trold”, which has gotten quite a lot more aggressive since it was released as a single by the band more than a year ago, Andreas and Kristian Bengtsen’s guitars dominate the soundscape with churning grit and evocative spaciousness that conjure up imagery of the great wilderness – wild rivers, vast forests and the like (as already portrayed in the video for the single version of “Trold”). Christian Vind Skibdal’s bass provides the persistent groove that pushes the track forward along with drummer Thomas Balslev Brandt’s forceful drumming.

Although “Ind I Flammerne” is a consistent album filled with great tracks, there are obviously tracks that stand out just a bit more than the rest. One of them is album closer “Med Næb og Kløer”. With lyrics like; “Kæmp, kæmp / med næb og kløer / du må ikke lade dig forføre / vend dit blinde øje til / elvernes dragende feberdans / kæmp, kæmp med næb og kløer / lad sirenerne lokke for døve ører / find en ny illusion / der kan holde liv i din flammes glans” it follows the aesthetic of ”Ind I Flammerne” as a whole, but coupled with the combination of vibes conveying equal parts impending doom and tribal mysticism that practically oozes off the instrumental passages of the track, I simply can’t help but get caught up in the track every single time I hear it.

In short, De Underjordiske have more than lived up to the promise their live performances have shown. As far as debuts by Danish bands go, this one easily rivals Fribytterdrømme’s “Labyrintens Farver” – causing me to take great pleasure in the fact that the psych community is seemingly being flooded with amazing albums these days. “Ind I Flammerne” is an effort De Underjordiske easily can, and definitely should, be proud of.


Download: Ind I Flammerne, Trold, Sultne Ulve, Næb og Kløer, Tempel
For the fans of: Fribytterdrømme, The Road to Suicide, The Wands, The Woken Trees
Listen: Facebook

Release date 03.09.2015
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