Album Review: Doodswens – Lichtvrees

Album Review: Doodswens - Lichtvrees
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings

Their name translates as ‘Death Wish’, their debut album translates to ‘Fear of Light’. There are few more accurate translations for this first release by Dutch duo Doodswen does indeed operate in the shadows of death and darkness. Formed in Eindhoven in 2017 by Fraukje van Burg (vocals and guitar) and Inge van der Zon (drums), this female twosome brings the rawness of the early 1990s screaming into the modern era with an intensity and maturity that is harrowing and bleak.

This release may have been some time in coming, but there is no doubt that Doodswens have put in the groundwork to enable this record to be released at precisely the right time. Full of inner emotions, self-loathing and with feelings of negativity and depression thrown into the mix, the approach could be viewed as basic. Initial listens suggest that there is not a lot of variety, with hammering blast beats, screaming cries of desperation and more tremolo riffs than you could shake a, well, tremolo at. And yet the atmosphere that envelops and cloaks this release is also captivating in equal measure and further exploration does throw up much more than could have been initially surmised.

Album Review: Doodswens – Lichtvrees

‘In Mijn Bloed’ explodes into a frenzied aural assault of thrashing riffs, blistering drumming and Van Burg’s unworldly screams. It’s something of a shock to the system initially, but soon eases into a deathly embrace which snares and captures the listener in its deadly coils. Utilising sound clips and effects, the songs are spaced out. The crunching footsteps that start ‘Zwarte Starr’ are accompanied by a down-tuned guitar, which gives way to a funereal tempo, hideous croaks and cries spreading through the cold air. Alongside ‘Zwarte Starr’, the other lengthy track is ‘Eindzicht’, a sprawling eight-minute monster. Alongside these two gargantuan pieces, the sharper, fiery blasts of ‘Usheiligen’ and the semi-shoegaze feel of the title track bring more to the blackened feast.

With a distinctly retro buzz of feedback throughout, this is a conceptual piece of work which deals with life and death, reaching enlightenment and fulfilling the symbolical ‘death wish’. It’s a debut to be proud of, and with increased listens, more impressive on each play.

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