Bait – Revelation of the Pure12th June 2020
UDS (Underdamped System) – Phantom Pain16th June 2020
Label: Dark Essence / Release Date: 6th March 2020
Slow and steady wins the race – Quite an old proverb, and one that Norwegian Doom Metallers Dwaal seems to have taken to heart. Quite aptly I might add, considering their affinity for a more Sludge-based approach to their music, which is often characterised as being particularly slow and monotonous, albeit not without a modium of gravitas.
Earlier this year the sextet released their first ever Full-length album after six years of writing, performing, mixing and producing. The release, which is their third overall when counting their previous Demo and EP, is entitled Gospel of the Vile, an hour-long journey into the darkest, deepest mountainous recesses of Norwegian nature.
The six tracks present on the record are, for the lack of a better word, rather grand in scope, managing much with very little – As stated above, the music of Dwaal is both monotonous and slow, yet dialled up to eleven, meaning that every instrument is heavily distorted, relentless and unflinching – Basically a chokehold for your ears.
While a track such as this is, by its very nature, not very well-suited for long car rides (not if you are the one driving at least) putting it on the stereo while in the comforts of you own home and letting the chokehold really strangle you is quite the experience – As ”Like Rats”, linked below, will surely attest.
Granted, each of the six tracks is its own self-contained experience (complete with a short intro and fade-out) but I find the overall appeal of Gospel of the Vile to be at its peak when the album is played through in its entirety, perhaps even more than once in a session.
According to the band itself, they strived towards creating a strong wall of sound meant to drag the listener in with its themes of despair and melancholy, to which I will only add that, as far as I am concerned, they succeeded.
Recommended for fans of Zaum.