Written by: MIN on 30/08/2017 16:04:22

Denmark’s premier black metal band Solbrud are finally back with their third album, titled “Vemod” (roughly translated into “sadness”). It’s been three years since the release of the band’s sophomore record ”Jærtegn”, but once you get to digest “Vemod”, you quickly realize that it’s been well worth the wait. Although both of Solbrud’s previous records have been decent offerings in the world of atmospheric black, the words “third time’s a charm” ring especially true on this matter, as “Vemod” is easily the band’s best one yet. It’s still unmistakably the same band, but there’s an increased sense of melody found within the four lengthy tracks (spanning from eight to sixteen minutes) and the production value has received a bit of a notch up. Don’t worry, the scrambled 90s production is still there, but the whole thing is definitely more audible than its predecessors.

As the sound of rain and thunder opens the records first song, “Det Sidste Lys”, you get a feel as to just why the album’s named “Vemod” as a sonic landscape of pain and despair establishes itself in front of you. It takes two and a half minutes before the convulsive guitar kicks in, and another few before the actual song is set in motion, but it doesn’t really matter. It’s okay for Solbrud to take their time, because the atmosphere they establish here works as the foundation for the entire record.

The cold rain increases in intensity and turns into hail once we reach the album’s second track and definite highlight, “Forfald”. Right from the get-go, all four members rage on excessively: the drums and bass play the role of the wheels and horse that carry the hearse forward, while the tremolo- and distortion-laden guitars take the part of the driver who leads the way. The melodic break that occurs after five and a half minutes is probably the best the band has ever sounded as the rhythm-section slows down and lets the guitars soar, thus creating a moment where Solbrud becomes an unstoppable yet endlessly beautiful force, highly resembling the likes of Wolves in the Throne Room and Deafheaven. Once the almost twelve-minute long duration fades into a haunting organ, you feel tempted to start the whole thing over again.

As the album’s final song, “Besat af Mørke”, reaches its last few minutes, you can feel the end is drawing near. A guitar solo takes charge and rises above the remaining instruments that keep firing on all cylinders, and as the solo carries on to the bitter end, you can hear Ole Luk scream about his own demise – fittingly, you could say, as the past songs all have been about humanity’s cruelty and inevitable extinction. “Besat af Mørke” is an excellent way to finish off Solbrud’s most ambitious album to date, as it marks a much desired maturity and progression in sound for the band to stand out. Granted, several other artists are playing music very similar to this, but it feels more original than anything the band’s done in the past. With “Vemod”, Solbrud have delivered an album that can actually match their triumphant live shows. Imagine how good they’ll be the next time you see them in concert!


Download: Forfald, Menneskeværk
For The Fans Of: Wolves in the Throne Room, Orm, Deafheaven, Darkthrone
Listen: Facebook

Release date 09.06.2017

Related Items | How we score?
comments powered by Disqus


© Copyright MMXX