[REVIEW] Kampfar | Djevelmakt

394373Band: Kampfar

Release: Djevelmakt

Label: Indie Recordings

Location: Bergen, Norway

Genre: Pagan Black

Release Date: 27th January 2014

Reviewer: Susanne Sinmara

Rating: 8 out of 10

Link: Band Facebook

Kampfar are back with their brand of pagan Norwegian Black Metal – Djevelmakt, their 6th album in 20 years. I would like to say that they are as fierce as ever, but they seem to have lost a bit of their bite. That said, it’s still better than their last, rather disappointing album, Mare. There are plenty of songs that go for full blast (for example Mylder, one of the ear worms of the album, which should be a good live song as it has quite an infections shout-along passage: HELVETE!!) – but then they put the brake on for Swarm Norvegicus, one of the best tracks on the album. Dark, slow and brutal, you can hear the rats scuttling along…. (Rattus Norvegicus is the latin name for the common brown rat). Dolk is using his voice quite well on this track, grunting and screeching as if the devil himself has possessed him. It should be interesting to hear that live. Kampfar have stayed true to their roots, but aren’t afraid of striving a little bit out of their comfort zone. This is what saves the album from being mediocre.

The theme of the album is condemnation, anti-human and anti-religion, the underworld – as opposed to their last album Mare, which dealt mainly with witches. It makes the album rather dark and atmospheric – Blod, Eder og Galle starts off with an almost EBM-like synth passage, which sets the mood for this song. The lyrics are mainly in Norwegian, although a few English passages have been included, like in Our Hounds, Our Legion. Another one of the better songs on the album, thank to a clever use of a whipping sound and Dolk’s singing. They use a bit more keyboards this time around – you can hear that in Pete Tagtgren’s mixing. The album was produced by Jonas Kjellgren, previously in bands like Scar Symmetry and Carnal Forge – and he did a good job. They are gracing the UK in April 2014, so make sure to catch them. They always put on a damn fine live show.