For their forthcoming fourth album Nocturnal Will, the Swedish band Dödsrit have created a remarkable musical symbiosis. Their hallmarks of black metal and crust punk are still there, but the music is also elaborate and frequently elegant, the melodies intensely moving and immediately memorable.
And there’s a reason why the new album’s cover art depicts a stricken knight, on his knees in a wintry plain and head bowed beneath glowering skies, because the music seems to cast its gaze back to an ancient age of valor and bloodshed, of triumph and death, of devotion and suffering, so much so that we’d venture the guess that devotees of medieval black metal will relish this as much as metalpunks will.
As evidence of what we’re trying to convey, we present today the premiere of the album’s second single, “Celestial Will“, in advance of the record’s March 22nd release by the Wolves of Hades label.
For this new song Dödsrit created a grand overture, with drums ceremoniously pounding and guitars ringing and flickering in ways that conjure the trappings of medieval grandeur. Even when the drums begin blasting and the vocals explode in scalding screams, the music still lights the skies above and revels in its ancient glories.
The song’s soaring and shining melodies are elaborate and exultant, but the moods and rhythms change. The guitars seem to skirl like pipes in the vanguard of a war party marching and then racing to battle. The drums deliver martial beats and rocking grooves, the bass pulses like a wild heart, and then more changes come.
The song’s archaic and august atmosphere remains, but as the pacing slows the music seems to wail, channeling remembrance and loss, still elaborate, still striking, but more stricken (though no less stricken than the flesh-shredding intensity of the vocals that continually kick up the music’s savage intensity).
And then a vividly dancing guitar-lead takes over, propelling the music toward glory again, drums hammering and chords slashing and majestically elevating once more, pierced again by the electrifying flicker of another guitar — yet with more hints of wistfulness in the finale to come.
When you hear the song you won’t need us to tell you (because you’ll feel it first-hand) that all of the track’s melodic motifs get stuck in the head damned fast, and all together they’re very effective in transporting listeners to a mythic time.
Christoffer Oster – guitar / vocals
Georgios Maxoris – guitar / vocals
Jelle Soolsma – bass
Brendan Duffy – drums
Nocturnal Will was produced by Georgios Maxouris and Alexander Backlund, recorded and mixed by Alexander Backlund at Fascination Street Studio, and mastered by Jack Shirley at The Atomic Garden. Burney created the cover art, and Samantha Muljat made the frame for it.
Wolves of Hades will release the album on CD, vinyl LP, and cassette tape formats. More info is available via the links below, and also below you’ll find a stream of the album’s previously released single “Nocturnal Fire“, on which the second guitar solo was written and performed by M. of Lamp of Murmuur.
This previous song is every bit as transportive as the one we’ve just premiered, every bit as viscerally powerful and emotionally stirring, but the band’s punk roots also vibrantly come through as it moves, and it reaches greater depths of torment and sorrow too. And the soloing is tremendous.