Djevel - Besatt av Maane og Natt | Review

Norwegian black metal has had its fair share of ups and downs – the less said about the downs, the better – but the genre is making waves again with bands such as NettleCarrier, Koldbrann and Djevel taking the music into their own hands and giving it a fresh lease of life. Maybe that has something to do with the constant in all of the aforementioned bands – namely Mannevond (bass) and his ideas and goals for black metal as a whole.

Djevel formed in 2009 as a sort of “supergroup” for likeminded Norwegian musicians with Trond Ciekals (guitar, clean vocals, NettleCarrier), Erlend Hjelvik (harsh vocals, Kvelertak) and Mannevond comprising the group at the beginning. Dirge Rep (NettleCarrier and Orcustus to name but two) joined on drums last year and now Djevel are ready to launch their sophomore effort on the world. Their well received debut Dødssanger was rightly praised when it was released in 2011 but 'Besatt av Maane og Natt' (which roughly translates as “Obsessed by the Moon and Night” – wonderful) ramps up the chaos with ever more fury and a steady thrum of melodic nuance. Djevel are a punishing act and the pace is one of constant forward motion with hardly any time left to breathe never mind think about the swirling moments of frost-bitten guitar and the atmosphere of total trve Norwegian worship that’s happening throughout.

Djevel are openly stating their love for their own early-90s scene here yet they bring it screaming into the 21st century with a fiery approach that feels as fresh as Darkthrone did twenty years ago. It’s a tough thing to do but the chaps behind Djevel have been around long enough to know exactly what they’re doing and with 'Besatt av Maane og Natt' they let their commanding guitar presence do all the talking – when Hjelvik isn’t shouting his way through highlights “Tornekroner og Geitehorn” or the groove-soaked “Stjernesluker” of course.

'Besatt av Maane og Natt' closes on the monumental crush of “Saa Tok Alt Slutt” which switches from doomy progressions and extended passages of pure instrumental beauty to raging vortexes of harsh screams to stately clean/choral vocals without so much as a pause. It’s a lot to take in but Djevel handle the changes with style and supreme confidence. If this is sound of trvth, then sign us the hell up.

Cheryl Carter

Label info:

Besides collaborating with Scratch the Surface, Cheryl Carter also writers for Cvlt Nation, Scene Point Blank, Metal Hammer UK and has her own blog Bleak Metal
Follow her on Twitter @Cheryl_Prime