On his new album Dikter om döden, the one-man post-black metal project Höstblod has captured what feels like a deeply moving meditation on grandiosity.
There’s a ton of atmosphere packed into the songs, which feel simultaneously powerful enough to transport listeners to a metaphorical alternate dimension and grounded enough to ensure that the journey isn’t just a fleeting experience. The alternation of fast and slower tempos on the track “Dödens vals” helps exemplify the richness of the tapestry, which shines in various forms throughout the truly compelling record.
Diving into the album feels like peacefully sitting down in a snow-covered woodland — the first two and a half minutes or so center on a peacefully plucked guitar melody and an apparent violin that sounds like it’s capturing the sound of emotional longing. Around the two and a half minute mark on the lengthy opening track, the harshly blistering blasts of vocals come in, but peace-oriented melodies continue on in the background — that atmosphere, it quickly turns out, was definitely not just a garnish or an “intro.” At the around eight minute mark, the intensity of the music suddenly rises to reach the ferocity of the vocals, as if throughout the song up to this point, frigid winds have been slowly but surely kicking up in that metaphorical forest, but even in the harshest moments on the song and album as a whole, there’s a clearly earnestly self-reflective quality in the melodies.
Some definitely familiarly harsh black metal textures make an appearance during “Tusen ögon,” but the harshness alternates with the more peaceful-oriented components that are never far behind, like the song’s piano-driven outro. The diverse elements of the album’s sonic tapestry flow into and out of each other with a quite compelling cohesion, as if each strand represents a flowing forest stream that the artist and listener are following along to their end.
Listening to the album feels like sitting peacefully amidst a snowstorm and taking in as many sights and sounds as possible. Every beat of this metaphorical, musically captured, vibrant forest feels like it’s been captured and amplified to its full potential.
Listen to Dikter om döden below!