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Dödsmarsch – Skandinavian Black Metal Alliance (EP review)

Dödsmarsch is a band. I know what you’re thinking reading this. As my friend Yoder once said when I started to fire up on some fuckin’ loser talking shit, “Herrrrre we go…”

I’m not even going to go into that shit, I don’t even fucking care. Religion this religion that, fuck you. Religion is a personal thing and I don’t see or hear it in this music.

The band says that it plays “Black Metal” and we’re going to review it as such.

Track by track:

Vargavinter – An introduction of sorts, I suppose. Raw black metal intro with the wind noise and all that shit, but they play music which builds around the 2 minute mark into some black metal sounds. Von style blasting. It fades out and we start the album proper.

Our Flags Held High – The lyrics to this song seem rather nationalist but I’m not sure which nation we’re speaking about! I rather like the rhythm here. It isn’t standard. More bands should go off on a rock tangent like this with the drumming.

Fifty-six seconds in and we are FIRMLY in Dark Funeral territory. This is absolutely Dark Funeral without the shitty Abyss production drum sound that Tägtren gave everything. I suppose this is not really just Dark Funeral sounding, it’s just the Swedish end of Black Metal. I appreciate THIS kind of Swedish Black Metal, it’s not the shitty Technical Death Metal that masquerades as Black Metal with 71% of popular Swede acts. And that’s fucking strange to me. Because Bathory started this shit, and Quorthon wasn’t technical. He was good but he wasn’t showing off.

The bass does some interesting shit during the breakdown in the middle. It slows down and then we get back to blasting.

Around 4:50 or so the track takes a bit of a turn maybe in a more Thy Infernal type vein. Maybe Dissection, maybe I’m fucking crazy or my ears don’t work whatever I don’t even care at this point because I’m getting old. Around 6 minutes what I thought were keyboards. But I’m drinking beer, they could be vocals. Pretty sure it’s a keyboard. I don’t fucking know, dude! This was a good song. And it was long. Cool.

Painful Lesson – We take quite a different turn here. The guitars take a turn back to the 80s here. Vocals are still pretty standard black metal. About the 1:50 or so mark, we have a guitar solo. I love guitar solos, and this is a good one that fits. This song is much older sounding than the preceding track. It become Bathory but then turns back into… I want to say Mayhem or early Gorgoroth-ish territory. The guitar is more chugging in most parts than I’d prefer to hear on a Black Metal album but I’m guilty of the same shit on my own albums which were also purported to be Black Metal. I prefer to think of my stuff as “my metal” but that doesn’t help record labels put…labels on it.

The backing vocals return. Is this a mix of keyboards and backing vocals? Whatever it is it fucking works. So I really don’t fucking care. We hit in around the 5 minute mark and it really hasn’t seemed like that much time has gone by. Spoken vocals over some clean guitar accents which are layered on top of the chugging and then BAM YOU JUST GOT HIT! We go back to the weird rhythms which I like much more than the standard beat. I don’t know what to compare this part to musically. It has it’s own flair. I just used the word “flair” in a metal review and I wasn’t referencing The Nature Boy Ric.

Dödsmarsch – All good black metal bands must have a song named after the band. This tune begins with a plodding…march. Very Swedish sound to the guitars on this one.

The Swedish flag is here on the back of the album cover so I think I’m okay with saying that it sounds Swedish. Sometimes people are like “Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Swedish Black Metal sucks”, but these people never listened to Dark Funeral, which I think, still, is one of the top bands to ever come from the genre of Black Metal. “Secrets of the Black Arts” is a top 10 Black record for me personally.

It blasts along until we slow down around 2 minutes to the opening riff style and a nice little guitar lead to go over it.

Then we have what I call the “Thrash Metal Beat” at the end which other people call something else because they’re stupid. It’s the thrash metal beat, and it came from Slayer.

Bitterness – We’re starting off with bass guitar here for an unknown reason. Who starts off with bass? This had to be the bassist’s idea. Guitarists and other real musicians don’t ever say “let’s start the song with bass guitar!” because everyone knows this is metal and not funk music.

That’s supposed to be a joke. We’re going straight back into the winding melodic black riffs of 90s Sweden again. Tägtren feeling here and I feel I need to bring up that the band called Abyss is usually overlooked when others think of Swedish Black Metal. That is a crime. Abyss was good. The train comes off the rails 2 minutes in and we get to the fast shit we’re accustomed to – after all, this is Black Metal music.

Wait. 3:40 in. Darkthrone. That’s Darkthrone. Which is, actually Bathory. But that’s a good Darkthrone type riff here in what most would term a “bridge.”

Some clean vocals behind which tells me yes this is Quorthonic territory.

Let me also explain: I know the band may not be influenced by the groups I make comparisons to within this review but I really don’t care because that’s what I hear.

I rather liked this EP and I am not hearing what everyone in the Satanic underground hears. And about that Satanic underground – I am FULLY A PART of it, unlike many others I know who purport to fucking be but ARE NOT PART OF ANYTHING remotely resembling the lifestyle of a black magician, or even a god damn magician. To me, music is music. Magic is magic. If you use your magic to make music (I did) then you’re on to something here – but let’s not act like this particular music genre, named after a Venom album (and song) but sounds exactly like the first handful of Bathory albums (which he himself termed Death Metal), has anything to offer people besides entertaining sounds here in 2019. The remnants of the scene in Europe died with Euronymous and Quorthon. They came to America but they never really lived, because the bands that were playing True Black Metal were very underground and no one really listened to them. There are only a handful of true bands, most are from the Midwest, and that’s what I’m going to end this review with before adding that I think this was a good recording, and the band should do more than five fucking songs, I mean really c’mon guys. I shit out more than five songs a day in my sleep. Yes, I wake up soiled but that’s okay. We all end up that way anyway.

https://www.facebook.com/dodsmarsch/

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J.R. Preston

Active musician, the person responsible for - or involved with - cult projects as Tjolgtjar, Xexyz and many others, and the main person behind our wrestling coverage.

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