2017 : Debemur Morti Productions
Format : LP/CD
Yes! It’s happened, a new album from Norway’s, Dødsengel. And it’s every bit as magical as one could hope. A follow up album to the mammoth, two-part, Imperator, Dødsengel’s fourth LP, Interequinox is given a much more straightforward presentation than its predecessor. I have to admit, while Imperator was and will forever be one of my favorite recordings to come out of the post-’97 Black Metal scene, its near two and a half hour length makes it very difficult to play front to back in a single sitting. Interequinox ticks in at about an hour with a cast of eleven songs and in my opinion successfully elicits the same ecstatic vibes that Imperator did. Then again, has Dødsengel released anything that could be considered sub-par? I certainly don’t think so.
Dødsengel undoubtedly remains within a class of their own as far as Black Metal is concerned. Those scalding and spacey riffs that have become the band’s calling card continue to pulse with an energy matched by very few within the genre. Kark’s vocal style remains within a realm of its own as well. When I say this, I mean it more literally. In the same way that I would describe Dagon’s (Inquisition) or Mark of the Devil’s (Cultes des Ghoules) vocals. There’s something about them that gives them more of an identity. In short; there really isn’t anyone else that sounds like Kark does. His ability to morph between several different vocal styles within such a short period of time without the excessive use of cheesy effects is something I’ve always found admirable. Dødsengel also makes use of female backing vocalizations again. The songs, “Illusions,” and “Rubedo” are the best demonstrations of this.
The songwriting and lyrics always shine bright on Dødsengel’s albums. The lyrics in particular come off as an immediate reflection of the laborious preparation that had to have gone into the creation of the recording. There are various lyrical themes that seems to run parallel to one another. The triune concept of Life, Death, and Rebirth was something that stood out to me as one of the more overt themes. While I continuously revisit the lyrics I find it hard to articulate and expand upon some of their more cryptic meanings. There’s a legitimate degree of intimacy I have with this piece of art in knowing that right now I can only internalize it.
Thankfully they’re presented legibly in the liner notes. Some bands seem to make a habit of mixing up the band’s logo font with the lyrics, making for an outrageous and illegible mess that leads me to believe they never had much to say to begin with.
I once compared the Swedish band, Hetroertzen to a small Black Metal orchestra. I think Dødsengel is the only other existing band that gives off a similar feeling albeit with a more psychedelic vibe. Nothing really takes a back seat on this record. Dødsengel actively unleashes all of their creative potential on Interequinox, making it quite possibly the best album they’ve ever released.
Interequinox is not just one of the best albums this year, but it’s one of the best albums of the past few years. It feels like the wait between this one and the previous was an eternity. I really can’t say enough good things about this record. It’s what I expect from Dødsengel and even more. After wandering around parched in a musical wasteland, Interequinox seems to be the mythical oasis I was searching for.