Album Review: Djevel – Tanker Som Rir Natten


Album Review: Djevel - Tanker Som Rir Natten
Reviewed by CJ Claesson

Summer has just arrived in Scandinavia - but ‘Tanker Som Rir Natten’ obscures the sun with its frostbitten embrace. With insurmountable might and grandeur, Djevel encapsulates the cold and unforgiving northern landscapes using raw black metal as a base, enhanced by eerie acoustic tranquility.

It’s now been ten years since Djevel unleashed their first album ‘Dødssanger’ upon the world, making their mark in the Norwegian Black Metal scene. Characterized by raw intensity and haunting atmosphere delivered in a blasphemous package, Djevel unveiled a sonic storm with clear lineage to the Norwegian predecessors. Ten years later with a hefty catalog behind them and in a new constellation, Djevel enters a new era with ‘Tanker Som Rir Natten’ (Norwegian for ‘thoughts that ride the night’).

On this release the band has taken their signature style of black metal to new heights. Although previous releases, production-wise, cannot be defined as particularly “necro”, Djevel delivers an evolved soundscape and composition; this, while maintaining a bare ferocity especially amplified by the frosty assault of the distinct guitar distortion. From the opening riff until the very end, this album demands your attention throughout. Signature characteristics ranging from compelling tempo changes, gripping ominous melodies, beastial northern roars intertwined with apocalyptic chants are all present, majestically controlled by the steady beat of legendary black metal drummer Faust. Except for the serene title-track, no song on the album is shorter than nine minutes. Normally, my mind wanders during songs longer than six minutes, but ‘Tanker Som Rir Natten’ doesn’t allow for distraction. Not unfamiliar with lengthy songs, main composer T. Ciekals leaves no stone unturned and allows breathing room for every single piece on the album. Close your eyes and it’s like gazing out over the endless mountain ranges of Norway. The sheer thoughtfulness and fluidity of the album makes you feel like you’re in the eye of the storm - and when it’s over you want to go back into it.

Djevel consists of extraordinary musicians, deep-rooted in the Norwegian black metal scene. Their continuous consistency as a band speaks for itself and their ability to elevate that consistency is remarkable. Together with the poetic quality of the titles, ‘Tanker Som Rir Natten’ delivers an intense journey through the mysteries of the godless northern woods. This is as true as Norwegian Black Metal gets, and my thoughts will ride the night with every listen.

TL/DR: If you like brilliant, cold, sacrilegious Norwegian black metal, this album is for you.

‘Tanker Som Rir Natten’ unleashed via Aftermath Music May 14th.

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