The Danish depressive black metal project Afksy has captured a work of magnificent power on their new album Ofte jeg drømmer mig død, which is available now. Turning on the richly engaging, powerful music feels like stepping into the path of a blistering, scorching wind that has been roaring for centuries as a scourge upon the less fortunate who have been left to the elements. The agonizingly bleak, blindingly intense riffing and percussion throughout this album together feel like a stunning portrait of the real-world pain that has been experienced by too many, and the sheer stunning intensity of this album makes the music land with a jarringly grim sense of reality.
The album opens with a minute and a half or so of mournfully plucked guitar melody, and then the project promptly launches into barrages of blast beats alongside still deeply mournful melody that’s now performed via blistering tremolo-picked guitar riffs unfurling at lightning speed. The melodies surge and retract while the blast beats consistently do the same, but there’s rarely a major let-up in the blinding onslaught, although the last few minutes of the album overall do feature an acoustic guitar.
“Tyende Sang” temporarily slows down for a brief portion of the opening barrage, but that pause simply gives the project the space to launch yet another ghastly progression into back-breakingly intense riffing. When more contemplative, slow guitar strums ring out following that barrage, they sound deeply mournful and immensely weighted.
Track three, called “Imperia,” starts to sound somewhat sinister thanks to the especially rapid dynamic shifts streaking through the endless melee. The song structure feels marred by rapidly shifting uneasiness. It’s as if a deadly wind that threatens to rip life-giving crops to shreds has suddenly developed some kind of ghastly face with which to bear down on struggling passersby. Part of the lyrics truly capture the unique feel of the guitar lashes on this particular track; the vocalist is roaring words first composed by Danish poet Sophus Claussen, and in English translation, one selection says: “I am the barren nature, the uncultivated fate, who gives stones for bread.”
Overall, this latest album from Afsky feels unforgiving. The maelstroms of lacerating guitar blasts and devastating drums barely ever let up. There’s no readily apparent light or “solution” to the pained agony, but there’s an essential humanity.
Check out the music below. It’s available via Vendetta Records.