Glittertind - Djevelsvart
Indie Recordings
Folk Rock/Metal
10 songs (35:13)
Release year: 2013
Official Myspace, Indie Recordings
Reviewed by Goat

Despite the seeming lightness of Glittertind's music, Djevelsvart ('devil black') is a very dark album. Inspired by everything from the Utøya massacre to founding member Torbjørn Sandvik's girlfriend being diagnosed with cancer, this is folk metal as diagnosis and remedy for humanity's ills, a cathartic workout that mixes tradition and modernity to describe ageless problems. It's also a maddeningly catchy collection of varied songs that foregoes the usual folk metal clichés and isn't afraid of poppy hooks or proggy depth. Far less 'Viking' and punky than in the past, although Djevelsvart opens with brief piece Inngang that could very well be the former, the title track that soon follows is much more in-line, surprisingly upbeat and driven by the guitars with backing flute helping provide some of the lovely melodies.

It's also the only place on the album to have growls, almost as if they're getting them out of the way by front-loading them... You don't miss them on the rest of the album, thanks to the sheer variety and moments like the following Sundriven's terrific gang whooa-oooing. It's the tetchy Sprekk for Sol that begins the real experimentation, however, the guitar riffs growing increasingly fragmented with some weirdly electronic-sounding lead guitar blending seamlessly with keyboards, and the drums almost completely out of kilter with the other instruments by the end. Trollbunded is outright art-pop as performed by folk musicians, led by piano with enjoyably bouncy bass, and Nymåne touches on ambient territory with the piano and group vocals making for a stirringly emotional atmosphere.

Elsewhere, the acoustic Kvilevaus makes for a pleasant interlude, nicely atmospheric in that kind of way some songs have where it could be both a Eurovision entry and something from an underground metal album, and Stjerneslør has a tone of grey that shows folk isn't all about drinking and humppa-ing. This might not be the most metal and gnarly of folk metal albums, as you'll have gathered, but it's an excellent listen that shows off the band's songwriting skills very well, and the likes of piano outro Utgang are at an Opeth-level of atmospheric skill. For the discerning folk fan.

Killing Songs :
Djevelsvart, Sprekk for Sol, Kvilevaus, Trollbunded, Nymåne, Stjerneslør, Utgang
Goat quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Glittertind that we have reviewed:
Glittertind - Landkjenning reviewed by Charles and quoted 76 / 100
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