Released: 2017, Debemur Mort Productions
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
When you hear the word combination "Norwegian black metal" you should know what you're going to get, especially when you hear Dødsengel as they are veterans in the business. The Norwegian Angel of Death is back five years after their way too long effort - two-and-a-half hours is way too much for an album - called "Imperator". This time the album "Interequinox" is less then sixty minutes which is quite refreshing compared to their previous work.
The cover art is a bit too congested for me but you can get that you're not going to hear some simple, raw black metal here.
The opening track "Pangenetor" totally proves my statement above. I can't describe the opening riff... I have déjà vu about it. It totally feels like I've heard it somewhere else, in a movie or something. It's not a typical black metal riff - not even a black metal riff - but it is so damn atmospheric and when the vocals join in it becomes even deeper. I had to listen to the song at least 6 more times before I could continue the album. It is really immersive. I thought then that if "Interequinox" will be like the first song all the way through, then this will be the black metal album of the year.
Unfortunately for the second song we went back to the usual black metal formula, which is not bad at all and don't get me wrong - but since the beginning of the '90s it hasn't changed much; we've all heard it many times. The riffs, the drums. Black metal.
But then comes "Emerald Earth", a slower song and which takes us away from black metal again. In the beginning the vocals reminded me of some stoner/doom vocals, then it changed to something which reminded me of those Bruce Dickinson parts where he is not really singing but kinda speaking, telling a story. Like in "Fear Of The Dark" or "Dance Of Death". Only it is the lousy version of those. Don't take this as a derogatory comment. It is weird and for me weird is good. After this we're back again to the typical fast black metal. Pounding drums, cold riffs and otherworldy vocals. But only for one song. "Illusions" starts with a bit of a psychedelic intro and with Sméagol-like vocals, then changes to one of the best efforts on the album. Heavy riffs, then clean vocals: beautiful. The only problem is the production. I wish that this song would be cleaner, at least. It is full of changes: really interesting but the sound makes it annoying.
"Rubedo"s start is a threatening one. Clean vocals, both male and female too. It is more like a goth anthem. At this point I really started to enjoy how varied "Interequinox" is. Only two more songs after this and the album was over. My reaction was to play the album again.
All in all "Interequinox" is a really good and enjoyable album. The only negative thing about it is the sound but on the second listening this sounded better: I guess I got used to it. The album is amazingly constructed; there is an intelligent mind behind it and there are no boring parts on the album. Sure, some may call some of the parts mediocre but that is the worst thing anyone could say about them. It is only June and we still have half of 2017 ahead of us filled with albums, but I am quite sure that Dødsengel's latest effort will be in a prestigious place on my list of the albums of this year.