Djevelsvart is Glittertind’s first release in over four years and is also their first release to feature a full band, so naturally there was a lot riding on this particular album, but to say it delivers is somewhat of an understatement because Djevelsvart goes above and beyond.
After a gripping introduction that builds up the atmosphere whilst exploring some of the melodies and riffs of the title track Djevelsvart which immediately follows it. A fantastic track, it was obvious why they chose to name the album after this particular song because it just seems to include every element of the band’s sound and it’s a great start to an incredible album.
Djevelsvart goes from strength-to-strength as it progresses, but the first thing that makes you realise that this is one of the albums of 2013 is fourth track Sprekk For Sol. The intro is so gripping that it still takes my breath away after countless listens to it and the vocals are something to behold, with the passion behind them really shining through, and that’s before we even get to the guitar solo. Although it could be viewed as slightly simplistic, as it’s the same repeated idea, it works so well and the bass noodling away behind it is phenomenal to boot. In the liner notes, it’s described a song dedicated to Torjus Jakobsen Blattmann, who was murdered in 2011, and is a statement against hate-ideologies and right-wing extremism – and whilst I may not understand Norwegian, it really felt like that was a point that was hammered home and proved that language isn’t a boundary as you could understand what they were trying to achieve through the music and performance alone. Amazing stuff.
Kvileaus is up next and it’s a beautiful acoustic song featuring some incredible vocals from Torbjørn, and is certainly one of the runaway successes of the album. It’s a quietly stunning and moving piece that can bring a tear to your eye, and is one of those songs you’ll keep wanting to listen to over and over again. Following this is the magnificent Trollbunden, a somewhat cheesy-sounding song with a bit of an 80s pop-vibe to it, and it sits nicely after Kvileaus because it’s a song you’ll instantly want to dance and sing along to.
Another highlight is Tåketanker, which opens with a riff so catchy you’ll be humming along to it for months on end, and by the time the vocals kick in it’s already clear that this is a track that won’t be forgotten in a hurry. There’s nothing overly complicated about this song, but that’s one of the things that’s great about it: it doesn’t need anything fancy or showy, as the instrumentation and vocals are good enough without any extra frills.
Djevelsvart is nothing short of a work of art and on a personal level, I was unsure about whether Glittertind would ever make an album better than their previous effort Landkjenning but they’ve reached a new high with this. This is one of the best albums of 2013 so if you haven’t heard it yet then what are you waiting for?
Read our interview with Geirmund here.