Domgard - Odelagt
Carnal Records
Black Metal
12 songs ()
Release year: 2017
Reviewed by Alex

Swedish Domgard have an undeniable amount of street cred as far as black metal goes. Born almost a decade and a half after mid 90s black metal seminal days in Scandinavia, Domgard members left their mark on church arson in Sweden and, deservedly, served their time in prison, all before putting out any music of substance. Danish Angantyr, the work of one man Ynleborgaz which was covered on these pages, dedicated the whole demo in honor of Domgard soon thereafter. More importantly though, Domgard first two albums I Nifelhels Skygd and Myrkvidr were cold old school black metal fifteen+ years after Storm of the Light’s Bane. Five years later, lineup most likely reshuffled again, Domgard is back with Ödelagt, their outlook on how black metal needs to sound thoroughly unchanged.

The album is a complete case of you getting exactly what you have been expecting. Shrill icy guitars in the vein of old Dissection and Taake carry the day on Ödelagt. There are no production tricks, no bombast, no overdriven bottom end, the drums almost completely buried into guitar wall except for an occasional roll or slower song parts (Kynjagaldr). There are thrashy and trashy numbers here (I Geirröds Hall), but Domgard make sure melody is prominent throughout. Töckenhöljt, practically percussionless Aldar Røkkr, similar, at least half way through, Förgånget, and the opening swell of the title track are as melodic as you ever hear. Listening to these songs, or to stately close of otherwise drilling Sejdmannens Förbannelse, will make you understand why Grieg’s Per Gunt melodies are so genius, and why Nordic/Germanic mythology can only be explained with musical background as heard in Ödelagt.

While full of distorted melodic buzz and fuzzy tremolo, Domgard walk the proper line not to let the album become a boring drone. Getting introspective from time to time definitely helps. Inserting a perfect fall track, Grottkvinnans Hemlighet, with its whispers, acoustics and rain sounds, make the late days of November a perfect backdrop for when to review Ödelagt. It also seems that everyone in the band contributes vocally, so there are multiple layers of voices on the album, cleaner chants next to devilish vomits (Kynjagaldr) and spoken verses laid onto steady doomy beat (Förgånget).With this approach Ödelagt often takes on the mystical and occult feel, exactly what the band was going for looking at their cover art.

Ödelagt is a strong old school black metal album unless you are in the market for something raw, dripping with blood. No less grim or melancholic, Domgard is quite different from what you will hear from the likes of Tsjuder or Urgehal, and that is probably the reason Domgard members photograph in a cave, rather than someplace in a nightly forest, with not a trace of corpse paint to be seen on their real, but fully withdrawn, faces.

Killing Songs :
Töckenhöljt, Kynjagaldr, Ödelagt
Alex quoted 82 / 100
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