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An unknown band called Genfærd - 90%

BlackMetal213, February 3rd, 2018

Genfærd is a black metal band from Denmark that has only been around for around four years. To date, they only have one recording out, being this self-titled debut album which came out in 2015. I've listened to it a few times now and I find it unfortunate that more people aren't catching onto this. I mean, this album came out three years ago, and I just recently heard it for the first time, thanks to J., who plays guitar for this band. He reached out to me and recommended me to take a listen to this and I'm really glad for that because this is a fine album. It has that classic black metal sound that you would expect to hear coming out of Scandinavia and it doesn't try too hard to deviate from that formula, but that's perfectly fine!

Black metal has never been known to deviate from its respective sounds. What I mean by that is when a band plays this style of metal, they generally stick to it with slight if any real deviation. Sure, you have bands that have changed their sound throughout their careers, such as Satyricon, Enslaved, and Dimmu Borgir, but most of the time, bands that play a specific style of black metal, be it atmospheric black metal, symphonic black metal, depressive black metal, or regular black metal, tend to keep it that way throughout most or all of their musical careers. And the albums generally flow together without deviating too much from track to track all the while each track maintains its own identity. This album generally keeps things going all the way through it's near 47-minute run time though you can still distinguish the songs from one another. For example, "Stormen" kicks things into high gear right away after some ambient noises which seem to emulate an ocean and seagulls, while the following track "Æreløs", keeping this sound going but implementing some rock-sounding segments that sound punk influenced in nature. There is a slower break in this song where the atmosphere really kicks up, utilizing some melodic guitar leads. As I stated before, these songs really do all follow a similar formula but you can still separate them from each other. "Tortur" is the closing track of the album and it manages to end the album the same way it began: fast, aggressive, powerful, and punishing. However, after the song plays for a bit, it slows down to a slow, dirgy pace, which finally concludes the album.

The drums on this thing follow the standard black metal formula as well. Loads of blast beats, with many of the songs beginning with a blast beat right away, and maintaining them quite a bit throughout. However, when the songs do slow down, so do the drums. And they work really well in this regard too. "Livløs" begins with a drum beat that sounds quite triumphant in nature like you would expect to hear when envisioning a battle between two opposing forces. They sound fairly pummeling with the album's production, which manages to be raw and abrasive but not to the point of the album becoming a chore to listen to. In fact, for such an underground black metal band, the production is solid as can be. I've heard far worse production values from far more well-known bands. I do with the bass was a little more audible because the rawness of the guitar tracks seems to pretty much cover it up. Atmosphere is all over the place with the fuzziness of the guitars and the war-beating of the drums and energy is shown completely throughout the album. Vocals also sound really good and, while they're standard for black metal, still manage to be attention-grabbing and maniacally proficient. They tend to keep the same range throughout most of the album with some slightly lower tones here and there. To my ears, "Dødens Rytter" is a pretty good example of this.

Really, this album should be listened to by anyone who enjoys that classic, second-wave sound of black metal that emerged from Scandinavia in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This can be seen as a modern take on that classic sound yet still sounds refreshing and revitalizing at the same time. Genfærd has done a really good job on this album and hopefully, we will get more music from them at some point. They really deserve the attention of black metal fans and if more people heard them, I'm sure they could attract a decently sized fanbase.