Review: “Black Sun” by Død Håp

Described by label Darkwoods as a disturbing new Post Black Metal project arisen from the unstable minds of multi instrumentalist DP (Wrong) and vocalist Loki (Ildur), Død Håp (Norwegian for “Death Hope“) come armed for the apocalypse with a debut full length album “Black Sun“. A conceptual work about how mankind will be destroyed by Nature as a revenge for their unceasing crimes against the natural order, it is the story of how when “conquering new lands for their clan on the other side of the world, a horde of Viking warriors are ambushed and find their way to death, Valhalla awaits… or not… a big black sun welcomes the troop, entering into a barren land without the least sign of vegetation, just surrounded by heavy earthquakes, massive volcanic eruptions, sinkholes and an extremely dense, vicious and warm atmosphere…

Der Kommer!” sets the dark tone as a palette cleansing introduction piece, the cold wind blowing as the horde are shrouded in darkness as the album title track “Black Sun” is ushered in. A distinctive and yet classical piece of modern Black Metal, it offers plenty of intricacy to wrap around the throat of the icy harsh vocals from Loki and choke off his air supply, the soundscape perfectly depicting the barren lands of the concept the record holds at its beating black heart. Comparisons to Wrong are painfully obvious from the very start but they were always going to be for while you can take a musician from a band, you can not take his signature style along with it. This sound is part of DP’s soul and what he has developed in creating for Død Håp actually escapes some of the trappings of Black Metal convention with blast beats used sparingly and the guitar work focusing on substance over style. “The Welcome” is a banshee’s call to hell with intricate tremolo picked moments accompanying the nails on a chalk board vocals as the protagonists are dragged kicking and screaming to their untimely demise. Engaging and captivating, “Hel” holds the listener in the palm of its hand, swaying gently as it lets the toxic atmosphere do its work and in many ways is the calm before the storm because the dark and tumultuous “Tears of Dejection” cuts bitter and ice cold. Soaked in blast beats it drives home the coffin nails with the swagger of Black Metal mastery, the bombastic bass line giving something more as blood is craved. Melancholic with a sense of epic grandeur it stirs the soul with a surprising emotive quality before the unrelenting “Souls Of Resistance” takes hold with an icy grip. Another six minute blast of pure unadulterated torment it continues the bleak narrative in sublime fashion, dulling the ache before driving down the darkness once more. It is however the diversity of textures within the straight jacket confines of “Whispers of Eternal Ice” that steals the show, a wonderfully melancholic crossing of light into darkness amid the despair of Loki’s bitter cries. His shriller blood gargling is the prefect foil for the raging melodies and whirlwind of percussive battery that accompany it, frost bitten and hungry. Aching for an end to their lives the Viking Warriors reach “Dead Hope“, a near eight minute magnum opus that has everything Død Håp have offered on the album in one single cyanide capsule. Dark and turbulent, it manifests itself arising from the shadows like a cloaked figure with a knife raised ready to strike. Rhythm guitars are beastly underneath vibrant leads which soak them to the bone, the vocals edging towards desperation from fear as the ice cold winds of plague begin to rise once more… [7.5/10]

Track Listing

  1. Der Kommer!
  2. Black Sun
  3. The Welcome
  4. Hel
  5. Tears of Dejection
  6. Souls Of Resistance
  7. Whispers of Eternal Ice
  8. Dead Hope

Black Sun” by Død Håp is out 15th December 2022 via Darkwoods with pre-orders available over at bandcamp.

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