“True Danish Black Metal” is not a thing. In fact, if you ask me to list Danish black metal bands, I’ll have to think for a while to get past two. Those two are Angantyr and one-demo-wonder Yggtyrhyrkkh Hin Dystre (by the way, if you want to bribe us for a positive review of whatever terrible metalcore you play these days, get me a new original copy of Hævnfejde, and I’ll pretend like your emotions, shitty political views and hyper produced pop metal are all just terrific). These two examples show one thing: when they want to, the Danes know how to do it.
Solbrud, which does not mean “sun chick” as it apparently would in Swedish, have now added themselves to my list of Danish BM bands I’ll remember to mention pretty much right away if someone asks me. Vemod is the third album of this Copenhagen crew, and it’s quite a convincing piece of raw black metal. The sound is straight up melancholic and atmospheric black metal with strong hints of the Norwegian 90’s, but with a progressive/experimental touch. Nothing that would ever cause anyone to tag on that terrible “post” prefix when defining their genre, but just enough to give it a slightly modern touch.
If Ulver’s acoustic masterpiece Kveldsanger had not been an acoustic masterpiece, but rather a black metal album, then parts of it would certainly have sounded like Solbrud. There are also some wilder passages similar to the more climactic, finishing parts of several songs off of Satyricon’s Nemesis Divina. In general, we’re talking mid-to-fast-paced black metal with melodic lead guitars over ever grinding chords.
There are quite a few tidbits to broaden, or perhaps narrow, the appeal too. In the third track “Menneskeværk”, there are numerous outright experimental parts, including substantial ambient intro and outro. The last song “Besat Af Mørke” begins with a strange drum intro that gives the impression that some kind of Oi punk song is about to start, whereupon a monotonous guitar holds one chord for a brief while, before the whole thing relaxes into the more melodic, flowing black metal which after all forms the core of the album.
Vemod is music for forest drinking, people hating and corpse painting. Music which shows that black metal remains alive and well, even in Denmark. You’ll have to wait, though, since the album isn’t released until the 9th of June this year. It will be put out through a joint and worthy effort by Vendetta Records (BC) and Indisciplinarian (BC).