Djevel (Devil) is a raw black metal band from Oslo, Norway formed in 2009. The band has recently released their 6th outing ‘Ormer til armer, maane til hode‘. Djevel are one of those bands that adheres to the Nordic black metal tradition. This Norwegian black metal outfit saw a change in lineup in the past and was originally founded by the members of Koldbrann and Nettlecarrier. Their fifth album ‘Blant Svarte Graner’, which was released last year, featured the former member of Emperor, Faust, on drums. Djevel has its own approach in writing music. Stylistically, they take strong influences from other Norwegian acts such as Darkthrone, Taake, and early Satyricon. They combine the Norwegian pagan old school style adding a dose of atmospheric into the music. Djevel’s fifth album “Blant Svarte Graner’ was among my favorite black metal albums last year.
That album carried the band to the top of the highest peaks of the Norwegian black metal. The previous work was beautifully composed and contained many mesmerizing melodies including acoustic guitar passages that reminded me of other Norwegian bands such as Ulver and Satyricon. However ‘Ormer til Armer, Maane til Hode‘ lacks the use of aesthetic melodies such as acoustic guitar elements. Instead Djevel has released an album that will soak the listener in the dark atmosphere of Norwegian black metal majesty.
The era of the post second wave of black metal in Norway has brought many young and talented bands into the center of attention. Apart from the Nidrosian black metal bands such as Whoredom Rife and Mare, Djevel is a super group that includes Faust on drums, Mannevond on bass/vocals, and Trond Ciekals on guitars. ‘Ormer til armer, maane til hode’ (Worms for arms, moon for head) is a lengthy album and begins with an atmospheric style of black metal where the blast beats and the beautiful tremolo pickings are displayed. The music is somewhere between Satyricon’s early album ‘Dark Medieval Times‘. The opening track steers into the Nordic black metal tradition, while the gloomy rhythm guitar draws a mournful atmosphere. The album has a rich aesthetic quality of somber black metal brought forth by the tremolo pickings.
Djevel has its own splendid approach in writing music: the second track ‘Et menniskes hele korpus og legeme‘ is filled with melodic hooks. The effective grim melodies & the atmosphere become more dense and gloomy. There are some hypnotic moments created by the rhythmic guitar which makes it so appealing. The escalation into blast beats and the raw Norwegian black metal style widens on the third track ‘Den gang jeg banket paa helvedes tunge doer‘.
It isn’t quite melodic as the previous album, ‘Blant Svarte Graner‘. For example, since the band refrained from using the acoustic guitar, the approach is dominated by furious blast beats and icy tremolo pickings. Djevel‘s emphasisis is mainly laid upon the early sound of the Norwegian black metal. The grim atmosphere of early Satyricon albums are widely presented on the new album. You can hear the strong influences of Mannevond‘s vocals which are similar to Satyr. Djevel creates many slow passages, yet there are other tracks that sound dark and moody due to the tempo changes.
There are plenty of mesmerizing moments from the cold atmosphere which surrounds the tracks. The guitar work on the album is beautifully performed, especially the lead guitars which create a majestic and sublime aura. The drums are prominent and vary from mid tempo to blast beats. Djevel‘s musical style is a blend of the Nordic second wave of black metal aesthetics. On the instrumentation level Djevel doesn’t need to prove Faust‘s drumming is anything but excellent and provides the dynamics to the tracks. The record is a beautiful iteration of the Norwegian black metal style that reached its momentum in the mid 90’s. The focus on atmospheric black metal on the closing track ‘lloyegd foedt som Satans barn, paa ferd uden spor af menneskeverd’ begins with a slow guitar rhythm and pacing drums.
It is a raw and grim black metal record, improvised with such atmospheric qualities it makes the album quite compelling. The latest effort is subtly dark and melodic at the same time. This is a unique approach of old school black metal meets melodic black metal, focused on its raw templates and icy tremolos.
Release Date: October 18th, 2019
Label: Aftermath Music
- Ormer til armer, maane til hode
- Et menniskes hele korpus og legeme
- Den gang jeg banket paa helvedes tunge doer
- Dreb dem alle, herren vil gjenkjenne sine
- Ved Hildr’s haand for Hel
- Det eders herre lover er mer enn hva mennisket taaler
- Over svarte skriigende skoger
- Illoyegd foedt som Satans barn, paa ferd uden spor af menneskeverd