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Doodswens - Lichtvrees

Doodswens
Lichtvrees
by Ian Yera at 29 January 2022, 2:27 PM

When it comes to Black Metal, I always find it interesting to note the country from which a band hails. DOODSWENS comes to us from The Netherlands (Doodswens meaning “Death Wish” in Dutch), which is fun because that’s where the majority of my ancestors are from. I like to see what flavors different nationalities add to the mix, but unfortunately in this case there’s nothing particularly unique about this album, aside from the spoken Dutch. Musically I appreciate the atmosphere of the album a lot, these guys clearly like their Doom Metal and they create quite a hypnotic sound. I quite like the sound and energy of this, reminding me of bands such as MOONBATH, COLDWORLD, or FUATH at times, but only for moments.

In Mijn Bloed works well as an opener, it’s got energy and some really dirty riffs. I don’t know that I would call it especially memorable, but it gets things off to a fast start. Then we have a two minute interlude that is narrated in Dutch, about which I have nothing to say except Dutch is a cool language, and putting this interlude after the first song totally kills the momentum. After that I would argue the album dramatically changes in style. With Zwarte Staar the album takes on a much more atmospheric tone, much less riff based and far more moody. Zwarte does end with a really heavy outro which brings back some of that feeling of momentum, but I still find the placement of Onplaatsbaren to be an odd choice. Eindzicht dives back into the sludge, finding that somber place between Black Metal and Doom. At about nine minutes Eindzicht is the longest song on the album, but sadly it’s not the most interesting one. There are moments that stuck out to me, most revolving around the rhythm section throwing together some neat counterpoint and some offbeat randomness. I also think the song drags at points and pretty much the entire song is in one tempo (all but the very end) which can be a problem for your longest song. Then IJsheiligan brings some energy and life back into the proceedings, it’s just two minutes, but after nine minutes of virtually nothing, it was a nice change of pace.

What surprised me about my reaction to this album is that I like Atmospheric Black Metal, in fact it’s one of my favorite genres, but for some reason this album wasn’t clicking with me and I wasn’t sure why. The more I think about it the more obvious it seems, the songwriting is just rather mediocre. There are legitimately great moments throughout this album; once Het Zwartewaterland gets going it’s probably got some of the best riffs on the album, but nothing really flows like it’s supposed to. The pacing of the album feels very start and stop, and unfortunately a lot of the doomy sections just end up being boring and so where I would usually prefer the more atmospheric doomy elements of something like this, I found myself constantly looking for the uptempo parts because for me they provided relief from the monotony. Fortunately for these guys, they did rather nail the ending; Lichtvrees I & II actually manage to take all of the things I liked about this album and put them together in two cohesive parts. The riffs finally start using some harmonies to spice things up and the way they lead into the faster parts just works. Really part 1 is the meat of this song and the way it comes together is nice, but it makes you wonder why the rest of the album couldn’t have been like this.

This is a band that has some great ideas, but they fill in the gaps around their better ideas with pure padding. Not filler, filler can serve an important purpose, padding is to me when you just kind of repeat the same ideas for a while without any real sense of growth or direction. I do think there’s a lot of potential here, and I would love to hear their next album, when they hopefully take my words to heart and fix the issues that plague this album. I always have immense respect for two man Black Metal projects, and I always want them to succeed, so here’s to DOODSWENS next album.

Songwriting: 5
Performance: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. In Mijn Bloed
2. Onplaatsbaren
3. Zwarte Staar
4. Eindzicht
5. IJsheiligan
6. Het Zwartewaterland
7. Lichtvrees I
8. Lichtvrees II
Lineup:
Inge van der Zon - Drums
Fraukje van Burg - Vocals, Guitars
Record Label: Svart Records
     


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