Album: Saa Raa og Kald
Label: Aftermath Music
Author: Jan Jakobsen (VENOM_IST_FALSE)
A Norwegian band that plays black metal? Who would have thought? Djevel are back with their third full length, Saa Raa og Kald, translated to “So Raw and Cold”. The band features multiple known members from other Norwegian black metal acts, such as Mannevond from Koldbrann and Nettlecarrier and Erlend Hjelvik from Kvelertak. Djevel plays a style of black metal that is very reminiscent of the typical Norwegian black metal style from the early 90’s. There is heavy Darkthrone influence, but there are also some distinct early Satyricon influence on this album. What separates Djevel from any other new Norwegian band is the actual quality of the songwriting and the fact that they also incorporate some melodic riffing with the continuous blast beats and shrieking vocals.
The album starts with a short two-minute intro that features spoken word and a slow haunting riff that tries to set the mood for the rest of the album and it succeeds in exactly that. Vaar Forbannede Jord was the first and only single released prior to the full album release and is first real song on the album. It starts off with a tremolo picked riff and fast blast beating until it shifts tempo around the 1 minute 30 second mark where it changes the mood completely. It goes into a very catchy guitar riff that wouldn’t sound out of place on the debut album from Erlend’s other band, Kvelertak.
All of the clichés that you’d normally find on a black metal also makes its way on Saa Raa og Kald, but it works. Even though the third song is all tremolo picked and full off blast beats, it remains memorable, which is quite rare in modern Norwegian black metal. The intro to the 4th track, Om Prest og Pest, captures a lot of the essence about black metal, just full out blasphemy. “I want to talk about walking with Jesus…towards heaven” is spoken before breaking into a full on ear assault. There is a distinct feel of this entire album that it’s genuine. Genuine black metal made by people who clearly understands what the Norwegian scene was all about, both musically and stylistically.
Norges Land og Rike is a clear homage to Darkthrone and to a lesser degree, Taake, with a very deliberate tremolo style that would fit well in on Transilvanian Hunger or Hordalands Doedskvad. On the subject of Taake, the lyrics are all in Norwegian and is sung in dialect as well, but that is hard to notice for those who doesn’t speak or understand Norwegian. The title track comes off as one of the stronger individual songs on the album, together with Vaar Forbannede Jord and Om Prest og Pest. It’s a 7 minute epic featuring excellent riffs and a very atmospheric outro with acoustic guitar.
This album delivers exactly what you expect from a black metal album, nothing less and nothing more. If this is your first meeting with Djevel it might even pleasantly surprise you.
All in all, a solid black metal album and definitely worth a listen even though it may fall on short compared to their previous two releases.
– Jan Jakobsen