Reviewed: March 2014
Released: 2014, Indie Recordings
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
From the discordant piano that heralds the beginning of the opening track Mylder it is clear that Kampfar mean business. With this, their sixth studio album in a career spanning 20 years they have hit the ground running, it is hard to believe that guitarist and keyboardist Ole only joined for their previous 2010 album Mare as here he has integrated seamlessly into Kampfar’s sound.
The choice of orchestration in the first track is interesting to say the least and this is the first time I remember hearing the flute used on a metal track, yet it melds very well with the general onslaught.
Throughout the album Kampfar move effortlessly through the gears from preliminary incursion of the aforementioned opener through the ominous chanted refrain of Kujon, the Nordic orchestration of Blod, Eder og Galle and the epic Swarm Norvegicus.
The diversity of composition appears again on De Dødes Fane where a simple whistle is used with quite foreboding consequences before a crescendo of instrumentation leads to a great keyboard led outro. The closing track Our Hounds, Our Legion, ends the album on a suitably grandiose scale with soaring vocals is a suitably complex but paradoxically simple arrangement.
The level of song writing on display on this release is quite simply top-notch. Special praise must also be bestowed on founding member, vocalist Dolk whose performance here is both varied and flawless.
Another stand-out feature of Djevelmakt is the production not since Volcano or Sworn To the Dark can I remember such clarity in a black metal album, Jonas Kjellgren and Peter Tägtgren have played another blinder here. The sound is vibrant and full with even hints of, shock, horror, rich bass tones coming to the fore. However this does nothing to temper from the general epic misanthropic vibe.
Kampfar is clearly a band at the pinnacle of their creativity, and I am looking forward to seeing what they offer in a live environment. I can’t quite believe this band has passed me by for the last 20 years and if this is representative of their back catalogue I will be having a very enjoyable time delving into it.
Review by Scrios
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