Sunday, January 15, 2017
Draugsol :" Volaða Land "
Iceland high school must have thrash metal pumping in the boys locker room because it always seems to be a huge influence on the black metal that comes out of that region. The album is really well produced and the massive chugs carry a ton of weight to them and help this album pack more of a a punch. The drummer is an absolute monster so that doesn't hurt their case as a force to be reckoned with. It is the more melodic groove that the touch upon in the middle of the second song that makes me want to take these guys more seriously than just being another bunch of lug heads who throw mean riffs at you as fast and furiously as they can. The blast beats are a thing and they do play it straighter than most of the black metal bands I get more air time out of . When they really start ripping it out a lot faster they sound a little more death metal in places. The vocals also tend to stay in more of a growl than a scream, but calling them blackened death might be a little bit of an exaggeration. But it is also like the blind men and the elephant depending on what section of what song, your idea of what these guys are might shift. They don't keep a perfect balance of melody interjected into their music and the furious aggression is the prime emotion rather than darkness, so we do not see perfectly eye to eye when it comes to what makes for the best black metal. But something can be said for the feral intensity and the clarity of the guitar work. Things are not a blur of notes that come across more like a frequency than string being attacked in a way to make defined riffs. The cleaner guitar tones sound really good and make me wince a little when they blast out in a blur of speed to forsake them. The bass player becomes audible at certain junctures, but the drummer is clearly dictating the fate of these songs. The guitar at the beginning of the last song is moodier in tone and the drums groove a little before throwing restraint out of the window yet again. The mid paced moments hold more impact for me when the guitar is allowed to ring out. Anyone who considers themselves black metal can after all play a blast beat. The melodic elements are no more evenly balanced on the last song than they are at any other point in the album, but the guitar sound is more varied which accounts for a lot. Actual sung vocals come toward the final moments of this and they are low and gothy so you know that earns them points in my book. For what this is these guys are impressive enough to peak my interest and keep me listening with some level of intent. I think this is worth an 8 for now, though I am not sure how much play time I will get out of this. .6