text: Oscar Wendt
November 10th, 2016
The Norwegian Rituals are upon us! Formed by musicians involved in such groups as Enslaved, Urgehal, Koldbrann, Orcustus or Kvelertak, Djevel has been rather busy since 2011 having released 3 fantastic albums that all embrace the Norwegian black metal spirit. Now, with the turn of the year, Djevel is ready to strike back with the latest offering – Norske Ritualer. The album is out on the 10th of November on Trondheim-based Aftermath Music. Let’s see what are those Norwegian Rituals, shall we?
The classic Norwegian vibes hit you in the face from the start and you promptly hear that Norske Ritualer’s production differs slightly from its predecessor, Saa Raa og Kald. It’s a bit sharper and crisper which gives the album a colder feeling. The awesome mid-song acoustic ornament in the first track made me really interested in Norske Ritualer instantly, impatiently waiting for what was to come.
A nice surprise comes with Doedskraft og Tri Nagler which features Hoest of Taake as a guest vocalist. If a kid asked me what exactly is Norwegian black metal, I think that this song would do a perfect job in giving an explanation. I love the track’s elongated structure and the slow riffs that with the aforementioned crisp production, makes a perfect package of grimness and depravity. Actually, all the songs seem to have an unorganized structure which works in favour of Djevel as it adds a lot of unpredictability to music.
Norske Ritualer is an endless mine of good riffs which consistently try to possess you as you listen to the album. The 4th Djevel’s creation is also an indication of the musicians’ experience – you can easily notice that it’s not the first album that Ciekals and his companions have worked on. The professional approach has got a very positive reflection in music making Djevel a full-time black metal formation.
Speaking of surprises on Norske Ritualer, I can’t forget about Til Mitt Kjaere Norge which is an Ulver-like short breathing space on the album. Beautiful acoustic guitar works perfectly for Djevel and gives the album some obvious diversity. Also, I think that after listening to Norske Ritualer good 10 times today, Med Tornespiger Var Han Haengt remains my favourite song, with that ending section simply crushing me to pieces every time!
There is a lot to Norske Ritualer. It is a brave and very rich album which in many ways is a continuation of Djevel’s work but also a step forward. For the 4th time the band is proving its standpoint and its loyalty to Norwegian black metal. Yes, I think that loyalty and certainly devotion are perfect words characterizing Djevel’s Norske Ritualer.