Review: “Lichtvrees” by Doodswens

Conceived in 2017 by Fraukje van Burg (vocals and guitar) and Inge van der Zon (drums), Black Metal duo Doodswens (or “Death Wish“) hail from Eindhoven in Holland and erupted onto the underground scene with their 2019 demo that saw them inspired by the rawness of the 90’s era of the genre. Building on that foundation of bones they have played at the internationally renowned Roadburn Festival, while this, their debut album, has already seen them chosen for a support slot for a European tour trek with Marduk even before its release as they look to follow the likes of Wiegedood and Valkyrja in breaking the grasp of their homeland and traveling on a Global pilgrimage of darkness…

Bathing our ear drums in feedback before a monolithic charge into the darkest depths of raw and unadulterated Black Metal in it’s purist form, “In Mijn Bloed” (or “In My Blood“) is almost feral in nature as it plays out with Fraukje van Burg’s scathing vocals piercing your ear drums like a knife and twisting venomously like a siren turned banshee who calls to sailors in the night before devouring their flesh. The atmosphere is dark and oppressive, playing on the darkest of human emotions with a bleak and harrowing nature through abrasive riffs and power house kit work of the finest order and the raw, cathartic aggression of transition sends a shiver down the spine. A violent rant by the side of a busy street that is “Onplaatsbaren” (or “Unplaceable“) may not be understood by non Dutch speakers but the sentiment is certainly felt with a sense of anxiety and wanting to escape the tirade of abuse before the cutting, melancholic “Zwarte Staar” (or “Black Cataract“), a slow burning wave of negative energy with sinister overtones that you can cut the tension of with a knife before the pair go hell for leather in a rip roaring finale of pure adrenaline. Waves of feedback drag “Eindzicht” (or “End View“) to life with Doom Metal inspired riffs of Scandinavian roots with while those hellish vocals sound like a call from beyond the void from the woman in black. There is perhaps the opportunity to add orchestration here with violins adding to the macabre atmosphere however the decision to stick with the gloomy raw and organic is more in keeping with the style of the the duo’s offering; you couldn’t enhance something that sounds like it was recorded in damp, dark cave or basement dwelling without it sounding artificial as the dull ache of the atmosphere approaches Blackgaze with an ocean of reverb. Raw and organic the women scorned spit blood and vitriol as the perform “Het Zwartewaterland” (or “The Blackwaterland“), once more treading the left hand path on a knife edge by balancing a deepening sense of melancholy with razor sharp tongues and raw aggression, never afraid to fly off into blast beats with the all out war of someone short tempered of chaotic mind. The sinister and brooding riffs may not be complicated or intricate but they carry a weight and gravity by setting the mood, painting the white to grey and the grey to black effortlessly; maintaining a sense of impending and inevitable self immolation throughout. Morose tones and a baying for blood, the title track “Lichtvrees” (or “Fear Of Light“) compounds everything that has come before it with enthralling and captivating power, bringing the miserable and gripping affair to a tragic and bitter end [7.5/10]

Track listing

1. In Mijn Bloed
2. Onplaatsbaren
3. Zwarte Staar
4. Eindzicht
5. IJsheiligen
6. Het Zwartewaterland
7. Lichtvrees
8. Lichtvrees II

Lichtvrees” by Doodswens is out 3rd December 2021 via Svart Records

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