Fæded Reality – Dark Times17th January 2024
A/Oratos – Ecclesia Gnostica2nd February 2024
Label: Silent Pendulum Records / Release date: 2nd February 2024
See, this is something really special, an untraditional and alternative piece of music, rather a timeless poetry! I’m talking about Aalborg, Danish based post-metal/post-hardcore/blackgaze quartet going under the moniker of Vægtløs. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with this act, I reviewed their previous debut 7″ single entitled Kakofoni here.
Their latest material is entitled Aftryk and it’s composed by Jeppe Nørgaard (bass), Frederik Højlund (guitar), Tobias Aske Heltborg (drums) and Troels H. Sørensen (vocals). Aftryk was written and recorded in their own studio, and mixed and mastered by famous Danish producer Jacob Bredahl, who obviously perfectly understood the direction the band wanted to go with Aftryk.
The album, released digitally/Tape/CD/12” formats (my copy came as the red opaque/marbled black vinyl in a beautiful gatefold sleeve with 8 page full colour booklet), is a culmination of several years of work that was hindered in growing by a pandemic and the constant setbacks of life. On Aftryk the quartet presents us with some amazing tracks yet again, where the overall sound is melodic and vast, which is forged to enclose the personal Danish lyrics about people close to the band who died or suffered deadly diseases. In other words; the lyrics are rather very depressing but very beautiful at the same time, which brought me to tears. The lyrics being in their mother’s tongue, Danish, gives just an extra dimension to their sound, even for people who don’t understand a word of Danish – I think it will evoke emotions and feelings they can easily relate to.
Originally, each song was named after the person that band sang about, but that was changed to more fitting titles, as the singer Troels’ sister-in-law suddenly died. Thus, the first track is entitled “Ingenting Kan Forhindre At Små Struber Skælver En Forårsnat” (watch the video below). It is dark and beautiful song that opens with this rather soft & melancholic tone, complemented by a few spoken words of the aforementioned Troels H. Sørensen (the main protagonist of the songs) dedicated to his sister-in-law. Afterwards some desperate cries join the mix, which hit me harder than expected. It’s furthermore accompanied by some hellish rhythms. Second track from Side A is called “Først da vi bar din kiste, gik det op for mig, hvor meget tungt du skulle igennem, før du blev så let” (quite lengthy, yet very burdening and fitting title?!), which is a composition where the unit successfully adopts some elements of (post) black metal, providing some extra weight to its rhythm. This particular song is also characterized by its varied nature, going back and forth with a mix of some slow & malenacholic- and more furious & faster parts. First song from Side B is the longest track here, the one entitled “Her I Vores Hjerter Bærer Vi En Ny Verden”. Again, a quite fascinating but not so fitting title for this one, as I feel as the sound is not very representative of its title, which at least initially, sounded more optimistic to me. In other words; this is a song that is filled with slow riffing and suffocating tones, created mainly by the heavy and slow bass-lines and steady drum beats. Nevertheless, it’s another perfectly composed song, with a more or less superb song-writing. Aftryk ends on a high note with “Tag dit knuste hjerte og lav det til kunst” which opens with this serene/tranquil introduction, then letting the rhythm section delivers a few nice touches, before it all finally ends into this screaming & chaotic final.
To sum it up; Aftryk is an excellent mix of post-hardcore, post-black and post-metal with epic and meaningful structures. It is a bit complex, but also dark, bleak, depressive, atmospheric, yet full of grief, pain and finally a release. And now something on a pesonal note; since I just recently found out that my own father has suffered from a massive stroke, I must admit that this release and its content hit my absolute sweet, emotional and melancholic spot.
I can already say that Aftryk is definitely one of those albums that I will keep listening to throughout the year. Esp. recommended for fans of Birds in Row, Lightbearer, Deafheaven, Oathbreaker, Le Pré où je suis mort, Numenorean, Pianos Become the Teeth, Svalbard, Touchè Amorè, Vi som älskade varandra så mycket and other similar acts.
For additional info on this particular release visit https://vaegtlos.bandcamp.com/album/aftryk