SAA RAG OK KALD
TOTAL FUCKING MASTERPIECE. ‘Saa Rag ok Kald’ is a total fucking masterpiece. One of the best black metal album released in the last 15-20 years. I’m going too far? Let me explain.
Djevel are born in Oslo in 2009 and it’s a supergroup formed by members/ex-members of Koldbrann, Orcustus, Enslaved, Kvelertak, and others. This is the short and superficial band story. But I always hated the term ‘supergroup’ and considering Djevel like a side project of NettleCarrier or of some other bands should be reducing and unfair.
The mastermind is the guitarist Trond Ciekals. A misterous man who simply devoted his life to Black Metal since the mid of the 90’s. Now is running NettleCarrier and Djevel. On bass Mannevond, the vocalist is Erlend Hjelvik from Kvelertak and on drums the legendary Dirge Rep, a man so dedicated to Black Metal that left Enslaved before their international success due to the transformation of the sound, always more soft and commercial.
Djevel released two albums before, ‘Dødssanger’ in 2011 and ‘Besatt av maane og natt’ in 2013; two excellent works of classy traditional true Norwegian black metal. And this is what I did wait for this new disc. I was wrong, because this is not just a normal album with 10 songs. It’s much more. It’s something beyond any time and dimension. It’s a journey that lead you in a place just surrounded from darkness, evil and ice. This is the magic behind Black Metal.
The title means ‘So raw and cold’. No album title could be more right. Atmospheric and freezing in the Norwegian way, powerful and destructive in the Swedish Way, morbid and suffocating in the Finnish way. It’s like an ‘opera omnia’ of Black Metal.
Of course, the sound it’s totally Norwegian (as all the lyrics and every word in the booklet) but there is never the sensation of something of old or predictable. The guitar riffing is simply masterful. Every riff is traditional but also new, live, vibrating and bewildering. There is a maniacal attention and great technical wisdom behind every song, that are fast and crude, but also magniloquent, complex, epic. The drumming of Dirge Rep is phenomenal, furious and intense. The voice is a tearing and crushing scream, that sometimes left the scene to resonant ritual chants from the deep.
The long ride on blast beats that close almost every song are the portal for leading the listener in a place that is never been so real. Djevel putted aside any antichristian or satanic themes, to focus mainly on the shadows that live in the soul of the men, inspired by the incredible Norwegian nature.
I would like to say much more about this album, but ‘Saa Raag ok Kald’ is not a disc to listen. It’s a disc to feel, because this is a total fucking masterpiece.
98/100 (c) Dan Ross
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