Written by: Blackie Skulless
Since the debut demo Krønike I in 2020, Dødskvad were a band I’ve found quite intriguing. Crafting a clear sense for death metal in a very non-traditional fashion, these Norwegians brought forth a nasty taste of history and mythology coated in synths, blackened feel, and unsettling production. Now, they’ve followed this up with another treat simply titled Krønike II. In some ways it’s a clearer vision, more of what came before, but there’s certainly a brighter element of focus.
By that, I mean this second onslaught of harsh and unlovable tunes seems to have a better idea of what it wants to be. Things progressively get a lot doomier, as the passages themselves slow down, with sharp percussion and bouncy bass popping through the surface to take precedence. Percussion is really big across the board, more so than before. Considering the synth overlaying and galloping rhythms aren’t going anywhere, this manages to pack so much into four songs.
So it should go without saying that Krønike II favors drawing out long ideas and letting them immerse the listener. “Etterlatt Til Ulver” is a fucking monster of a tune, rolling in with explosive riffing before collapsing into howling solos and vocal bridges that breathe a dense atmosphere. It manages to move through its seven minutes quite quickly, closing off with a piano. There’s also a pattern of using intros with sound effects and dungeon-y synths, feeding wonderfully into the harsh environment. Even the faster parts of this have such a thick hint to them, like driving fast in a foggy forest. Contrary to that, closer “Verdenstreets Rot” lifts all of this, and allows cleaner guitars to take the forefront. Again, a lot to manage in a small amount of time, but wonderful anyway.
I’m extremely excited to see what Dødskvad is able to do with a full length. Frankly, this works as something that really wants to step entirely into doom/death territory, but isn’t quite sure of itself. The clear direction is everywhere, and the fact that it’s so unique is a plus. Being able to pull off something so focused with utter chaos will never not be impressive.
Dødskvad - Krønike II was released Jan. 20th from Caligari Records
Dødskvad can be found:
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that wakes us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.