Genre: Black Metal
Label: Osmose Productions
For a band that has been active for a decade now, a total number of five full length albums is a really good score, and the two members of Dødsfall have had plenty of experience in many other side projects and groups as well. It is a band that has stuck to the sound of modern Norwegian black metal, with all its material in Norwegian as well, with very few experimentations throughout these years.
Doden skall ikke vente (= death must not wait) is now their latest offering through Osmose Productions, which is the biggest label the band has had so far in their years of activity. By the title of the album, it seems like the artwork (done by Pazuzuh) is closely linked as the dark figure stands behind what seems to be a clock, so there isn’t much symbolism in it to begin with.
Equally straightforward is the music in the record, which contains pure Norwegian black metal compositional lines, as seen through the lens of our current decade. The guitar riffs are cold and epic, there is a lot of fast paced drumming, and the shrieked vocals kill it. At times, you can hear some drumming parts that move towards a d-beat style, and there are groovier moments as well, showing that the band tries to not overuse the frantic speeds commonly used in the albums of their countrymen.
As one might have already guessed, the use of acoustic guitars serves as a connection between different song parts or as introductions to the tracks, and the band tries out passages with clean vocals as well (like in the track “Svarta Drömmar”). Doden skall ikke vente was produced in the iconic Necromorbus Studio in Sweden, which has hosted numerous classic black metal records throughout the years. The boosted, clean production is a product of Tore Stjerna, whom you might know from works with Watain, Behexen or Funeral Mist, so it’s reasonable that this album is also really polished, and that’s especially good because of the beautiful space and sound it gives the drums.
The various solos are solid and there is enough change of pace in the tracks to keep the attention. At numerous moments, Dødsfall choose to step into areas more melodic than what pure black metallers are used to, but the intense, blast beating moments are not missing. I found Doden skall ikke vente an enjoyable listen, even though I think what it lacks is not in the technical aspect, as the guys display fine musicianship there. The album depicts the Norwegian sound but it doesn’t really have the personal stamp of the band, and I couldn’t see how they would stand out among other, similar bands.
The tracks are decent but there isn’t much if you are looking for the next outstanding thing in your playlist. It is a record professionally worked, but there should have been more spirit and power in the music itself. I wasn’t disappointed, but I wasn’t impressed either, and I don’t know if Doden skall ikke vente has enough to make you come back to it after a couple of listens. Dødsfall have a fairly good discography anyway, and they would not let down with this either. More picky listeners might look elsewhere for black metal brilliance though.