Dråpsnatt – Hymner Till Undergången


Review by Jason Guest

Nordvis Records

Release date: 19 May 2014

Working with musicians who “build their musical creations around old native traditions, folklore & the great outback” to celebrate melancholic and unique atmospheres, with such bands as Stilla, Grift and Skogen signed to the label, Nordvis Records know how to pick them. And in re-releasing Sweden’s Dråpsnatt’s second album, 2010’s Hymner Till Undergången (first released on Frostscald Records), an album that is as beautiful as it is black and as atmospheric as it is diverse, as both a CD digipack and on vinyl, that tradition of bringing quality black metal to the hordes is continuing.

The opening to ‘En Ensam Sol Går Ner’, with its carnival-esque piano and staccato chords, may initially confound, but as the tortured vocals enter and the track evolves, the bleak, the aggressive, and the serene nature of the track emerges, bringing with it a deep sense of the absurd. And so, as the album continues to plot its distinctly hopeless direction, this absurdity underpins the album’s shadowy aesthetic. With riffs burning their anger and despair into each scorched track, majestic melodies that sing as if in celebration of desolation course their way across the vistas that continue to materialize and transform as the album proceeds. With distress and agony sharply rendered in Vinterfader’s emotive vocal delivery balanced with Nardstrand’s clean vocals (on ‘Gästen’ in particular) against the moving weight of the music, the desolation, despair, and maniacal melancholy of its atmospherics makes for a haunting and lasting experience.

Compounded by intelligent musicianship – and keyboard and piano work that augments rather than plasticises the music – this is an album that simultaneously embraces and explores all the shades and colours that reside in the very depths of blackness and pushes at its bounds. Four years old and as strong and fresh if not more so than much of what has been released in the interim, the re-release of Hymner Till Undergången is a wise decision. And if bonus track ‘Juvret’ is an indication of what to expect from the band, Dråpsnatt will (hopefully soon) be delivering more incredible music.

Dråpsnatt – Hymner Till Undergången8 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. En Ensam Sol Går Ner
  2. Arvssynd
  3. Dråpsnatt
  4. Mannen I Mon Spegel
  5. Somna In
  6. Ve Er
  7. Tonerna De Klinga
  8. En Besvuren Plats
  9. Gästen
  10. Juvret (Bonus)