After a couple of years of reviewing I’ve got a love-hate relation with genre definitions. I love ‘em because it makes my job so much easier. Just should a genre name and you, my dear reader, should have an idea about the sound of the record in question and if this review is worth your time. It makes my job easier, but it also makes me a lazy reviewer. On the other hand: bands rarely truly fit in a genre definition. Those genre descriptions fall short and don’t do the record justice. I think it was Lemmy (who else?) who once said: it’s all rock ‘n’ roll! And he has a point. Until I find a better way, I think I’ll continue dropping genre in the reviews I write, though.
So, enter Dödsrit, who play an exciting form of rock ‘n’ roll. Just kidding. I’m not kidding about the exciting part though. This record is real piece of work. Dödsrit is basically the solo project of Christoffer Öster of Totem Skin fame. A band that, until now, has flown under my radar, and I am a bit ashamed to acknowledge that. Dödsrit takes the crust background of Totem Skin with him, and then adds an unhealthy dose of black metal to the mix. This can translate to a sound in so many ways so I’ll try and give a couple more clues. Darkthrone have added a punky crust vibe to their black metal, but it’s not that sloppy sound that is emulated here. Think of the dark essence of lo-fi black metal but then played by a melodic crust band. A clear production, but with enough of a rusty edge to it to encapsulate the hate and anger that is the sole starting point for any good black metal song.
What makes this record shine is the way Dödsrit seamlessly shift from crusty passages to the furious rage of black metal. All the while never forgetting to incorporate great soaring melodies and hooks. This mix is then topped of by adding some sprinkles of post-metal giving the listener a deserved pause from the rage only to come back even harder.
If you’re a crustband (and you’re not called ICTVS) you should always be aware that crust songs that last longer than three or four minutes tend to overstay their welcome. This album contains only four songs, but lasts roughly half an hour. With three songs around the six minute mark and one epic reaching a dizzying eleven minutes this album could well be overtly long. It’s not though, as the band plays with dynamics and does this so well, they’ll keep you on the edge of your seat the whole ride. The album starts of with a bang that is called “Endless Circle”. All the elements described here are present. As great as this song is, the next two songs are where everything really comes together on this album. The build up, the breathing space in the form of a Neurosis like part with tribal-like drums and cleanish guitars, the climax, it all comes together on these two songs. Let’s not discard album closer “Gräva Sin Egna Grav” though, it works just as well as the opener.
Do you like music that is heavy and openly aggressive, dark and oppressive yet never forgets epic melodies and great hooks, Dödsrit is something you need to check!
9.0 / 10
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