Reviews

Whoredom Rife – Dommedagskvad – Album Review

By on November 22, 2017

WHOREDOM RIFE «Dommedagskvad» 85%

 

Ever since the dark days of its first wave in the 80’s, Black Metal has been a movement spreading to all corners of the world, taking many shapes and forms, adopting many concepts, ideologies, etc.   The multitude of different international scenes makes it one of the most multi-cultural extreme metal movements.  It is however fair to say that what took place in Norway in early to mid-90’s may never be outperformed in terms of quality, integrity and dedication.  No history lesson needed here, this is an unquestionable fact.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
The main architects of this so-called «second wave» have set the table for generations to follow.  While legends such as Mayhem, Darkthrone, Gorgoroth, Immortal (and many others) have paved the way in regards to rawness and evilness, and Burzum, Ulver, In the Woods (and again, many others) being originators of a more atmospheric approach, one of the glorious and most appealing aspects (to legions of fans, me included) has always been the majestic approach of titans such as Emperor and Satyricon (at least for their untouchable early offerings).  Ever since the late 90’s however, a somewhat limited number of bands from Norway have had such an impact (Taake probably being, to this day, the crowned masters still going strong).  Don’t get me wrong, there are still many amazing formations (old and new) hailing from this beautiful realm of ice, but it requires maybe a bit more of a dive into the depths of the underground to find them (there again, absolutely nothing wrong with having to do that!).  Of course, Sweden has always been (and probably forever will be) a breeding ground for some of the most amazing outfits (not limited to Black Metal or Death Metal), but ever since the beginning of the new millennium, we have had to look more towards Germany, Finland, Poland, Ukraine, France and Québec (not to take away from many other flourishing scenes) to find new contenders to the black throne.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      .
I, like many others, have always been hoping for a new Norwegian band to come along and bring things back to the early 90’s, in proper fashion.  And as some of my favorite Black Metal albums of all time are «In the Nightside Eclipse» and «Nemesis Divina» (both classics following more of the previously mentioned «majestic» approach), I may have found what I had been craving for over a long period of time in the form of Whoredom Rife, an absolutely delightful act hailing from Trondheim, Norway.  I rarely go through such long detours to introduce a band but the path taken will justify itself through my review of their new album «Dommedagskvad».                                                                                                                                                                                                  .
 Whoredom Rife consists of two members, V. Einride (who handles all instruments) and K.R (on vocals).  They are an active live formation with session musicians joining their ranks for such attacks.  Following their first excellent release in 2016, an EP called «The Worship of Idols Instead of God; Idolatry», 2017’s «Dommedagskvad» is the perfect opus that pays a grandiose homage to their countrymen originators. Finally a new band from Norway, taking on the world and reminding people how it used to be done.  No need to sound overly processed (or on the other hand, extremely lo-fi) or hide behind layers and layers of arrangements and studio tricks.  This album sounds exactly like it could have been released during the second wave, an absolute delight.  Granted, this may not appeal to all, as many prefer newer approaches, claiming that the old ways and sounds can never be surpassed.  But for me personally, what I adore about this album is precisely that: they are not trying to create something new, they actually bring back something that had faded in Norway for some time now.  This is an album for the dark legions of the night, roaming through cemeteries, wielding burning torches while  heading for the local village church!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        .
The intro consists of bells over wind samples.  From there, track two «Beyond the Skies of God» hits us with blast beats, tremolo picking (superb dark riffs) and echoing vocals, giving us the feel that this is a call to war!  The overall sound quality is amazing, organic, with perfect amounts of loudness and reverb to make it absolutely gigantic and evil.  The keyboards are perfectly mixed in the background and add to the overall guitar delivery, without overshadowing any of the instruments.  When such an approach is done right, magic happens!  …and this is what we have here!  This first real track contains a break in its middle section: the blasting drums make way to nice ice-cold distortion guitar notes followed by an acoustic passage, until the haunting riffs kick back in over slow and menacing drum patterns.  The song has it all and takes you exactly where you want to go.  In fact, that is what this album accomplishes: it does what you want it to do.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     .
While a track-by-track is not necessary, some highlights include «Cursing the Storm to Come», very influenced by early Emperor, with keyboards taking a step towards the front of the mix, in perfect harmony with the guitars, very reminiscent of «In the Nightside Eclipse».  Worth mentioning is also the track «Winged Assassin», a very catchy mid-tempo affair with no blast beats, just amazing catchy guitar riffs that will make you want to raise fists and summon the spirits of the forest.  The final song is called «Pilgrim» and it is breathtaking.  Longest of the ordeal, it contains chants backing up the echoing Black Metal raspy vocals.  Very well executed, a welcomed addition to the hellish symphony.  The second half of the song includes moments that may remind the listener of the mighty «Nemesis Divina» by Satyricon, with the whole quest ending on acoustic guitars with eerie background noises.  My only complaint with this album (if I have to look for one) would be that it is a bit short (37 minutes) and leaves us wanting more.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    .
Now on to the CD package, well I am lost for words as to how amazing and splendid this item is.  It consists of a multi-panel digipack with some of the finest artwork we have recently been graced with in Black Metal, courtesy of Jose Gabriel Alegría Sabogal, also responsible for the astonishing visuals on the new Inferno album «Gnosis Kardias (Of Transcension and Involution)».  A very big thumbs up to Norwegian record label Terratur Possessions for such an accomplished product.  The band pic shows the members proudly wearing corpsepaint, with candles in the night.  Very appropriate for such a musical path leading back to the old ways.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       .
So altogether, Whoredom Rife may not appeal to all, but for those who appreciate and seek what can be considered as a living tribute to the giants of Norway’s most prominent musical era, look no further and get your hands on «Dommedagskvad».
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