June 5, 2023 Dødheimsgard – Black Medium Current (Album Review)
With so many years of rich history, it may seem strange that Norwegian Black Metal creators Dødheimsgard have just released their sixth full-length album. Black Midstream He comes to us through Peaceville Records and sees the idea of Yusaf Parvez, aka Vicotnik, being revived once again after eight years of creative silence. Fans of this avant-garde collective are familiar with patience, as their broadcasts are eight years apart, dating back to the genre change of 1999. 666 International. No one can doubt that time not only matures us, but also allows for the perfection of creative initiatives; this is something Dødheimsgard has always done. Their music is cultured, whimsical, and defies rigid lines. Released on April 14, 2023… how then? Black Midstream evident?
“Et Smelter,” a ten-minute opening, buzzes with Black Metal ferocity after a psychedelic introduction and ends with a fantastic spin on a similar space. Vicotnik is one of the best vocalists in Turkey.
Extreme Metal and clean tones make their way through the harshness of the music with a grace that is as seductive as it is sudden. “Tankespinnerens Smerte” proves that a high-pitched song can punch or hypnotize. Accompanied by a deep and clean vocal, this song does a little more of both; The instrumental break at the about two-minute mark is provoking before it gets pretty progressive and weird. While in the past, the band sounded more jagged and darkly futuristic with these sonic tangents, here their twists, turns, and gorgeous magic are flawless.
Deep inside the album, it’s clear that Dødheimsgard has created something indescribable by shaking the Extreme Metal wood from its roots. Black Metal’s left arm, particularly the Norwegian genre consisting of Solefald, Arcturus, Ved Buens Ende, and Fleurety, presents a pattern of weirdness embellished with musicianship rarely found in every corner of modern music. “Interstellar Nexus” brings to mind the cold raids on the aforementioned prog of Arcturus. The clean vocals rise alongside Myrvoll’s drums and Maloy’s unforgettable bass guitar, giving the feeling that we are perhaps on the verge of turning into something very strange. Never be afraid, listen; Trust the mages who make up Dødheimsgard. Examples of hits and loop synthesis? Everything works surprisingly well.
The bright and serpentine “It Does Not Follow” bursts with tremolo pickup and hyper-fast drumming. Its chilling atmosphere and calm, clean vocal harmony balance the black metal core perfectly. The album remains solid and engaging from start to finish, culminating with “Abyss Perihelion Transit”, another ten minutes of crushing power of a musical labyrinth. Dødheimsgard highlights the brilliance and the whimsical, and while they are rarely effective compared to some groups, they value it. That’s why Cryptic Rock gives Black Midstream 5 stars out of 5.