Here we have 44 minutes of expansive atmospheric black metal with elements of crust. Such a simple description, but one that hides the dark splendour of what you’ll find on this release.
Icily melodic, yet with a swathe of emotive colour that’s enabled by its crust heritage in part at least, this may be a grim and bleak album in many ways, but in others it’s strangely uplifting and hopeful. Considering this, the album is inaptly titled, as Spirit Crusher is richer and has a deeper impact than the name alone might suggest.
There’s a post-metal aspect to certain parts of this album too. This revels in contributing a blackened version of the build/release mechanic that sees Dödsrit’s music truly escaping a purely black metal background and, especially when combined with the emotive crust, allows Spirit Crusher to become something greater than the sum of its influences.
Vast and atmospheric, but still with plenty of bite and aggression, Spirit Crusher is an enigma of harsh intensity and expansive light-touches. This is an affecting listen, and the interplay between blackened grimness and bright, uplifting colour is enjoyably wrought, as it never slips into territories that dilute the essential power of the darker, colder side of the music. The artist behind Dödsrit knows how to balance the two to good effect.
Many times I’ve stated my preference for albums that take the listener on an engaging and worthwhile journey, and Spirit Crusher definitely falls into this category.