Friday, November 11, 2016
Draugsol : " Volaða Land"
It is 2016 so we are officially done with obligatory blast beats when it comes to black metal. What I am now going to be looking for when I review black metal bands are who is breaking the mold already created years ago by bands like Darkthrone and Burzum. I own their albums if I want to listen to them I have them. This band from Finland is trying to find a safe place between striking out on their own and conforming to the expectations. To be an outsider genre black metal has been doing a lot of conforming. Things are dense and dizzying on the first song following the darker opening piece that is not quite a song with it's own two feet. When the band locks into a chug I think they prove they are more powerful than when they are flying past you at 180 bpm. The guitar solos add a melodic layer to the more abrasive ending.
Two and a half minutes into what is being called the third song they hit what I looking for. The vocals stayed raw and abrasive, while they begin to slow down and employ some catchy riffs. They can't restrain themselves for ever and go back into an even faster blast beat. We get a clean guitar tone that opens the next song and that gets them points after considering my new mission statement when it comes to black metal in this day and age. They stay a more mid paced course that is sonically more powerful than when they tried to throw everything at us at such a break neck speed. The vocals shift into more agonized cries that the more death metal roar that preceeded them. The following song they start off with a strummed acoustic and tread a murky water of dense heaviness for the sake of being heavy versus writing sound songs.
The last song has a more melodic structure and is dark while adhering to a more conventional metal structure that is interspersed with the more predictable blast beat sections. A low goth like vocal comes in at the end of this song to provide more colors. I'll give this album an 8. It tries hard enough to pave it's own left hand path. This doesn't come out until next year. So at least 2017 is already off to decent start in terms of black metal.