Dødsengel – Interequinox (Review)

DødsengelDødsengel are a Norwegian black metal band and this is their fourth album.

Well, there’s a lot going on here. I very much enjoyed their split with Nightbringer, but it didn’t prepare me for this.

This is sophisticated black metal with a broad theatrical side when it comes to the vocals, almost like an occult ritualistic opera that aims to summon fell beings from the abyss.

Extremely diverse and full of impassioned performances, the multitude of vocal styles on this release are all wonderfully delivered. Pretty much any style you can name is represented here in one way or another at various points, but, amazingly, nothing here ever seems gratuitous, forced, or incoherent; everything is anchored together by devout devotion to black metal.

It’s a firm testament to the strength of the music that the vocals only form part of what’s so well-realised about the songs, as Interequinox definitely has the full sonic package. While the album is undeniably vocally avant-garde, there’s still a blackened purity to the music that’s infectious, like a grim plague set to ravage the flesh of the unworthy.

The songs are very well-crafted, full of nuanced delivery, with the music fully capable of matching and keeping up with the sometimes extravagant vocal performances. I very much like that there’s no real disconnect between the darker music and the rich vocals too; they complement each other nicely, and for all of the diversity of delivery on display here, this is very much a black metal release through and through, with everything that entails. Dødsengel have not lost their icy, harsh side.

The album reminds me of the mid 90s, when black metal was increasingly experimenting on itself and opening itself up to wider and more diverse influences. I could imagine a band like Arcturus producing an album like this back then, if they had kept a stronger grip on their black metal side.

This is a hideously impressive collection of songs. The skill, talent, and imagination it must have taken to not only put all of this together, but to also make it work as well as it does…it’s a staggering achievement.

Interequinox is a totally essential listen.

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