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A very special song - 100%

Spider_X, August 31st, 2017
Written based on this version: 2017, Digital, Independent (Bandcamp)

This one track EP is really unlike anything I've ever heard before. Just when I thought Rafn had outdone himself with his latest full length album Hädanfärd, he goes and surprises me with this treasure.

Since this is just one track, I would like to also describe the cover, because this is pretty much the basis for the song, itself. The cover is black and white. And, you will see a woodland forest with whitened sunlight appearing through the spaces in between the trees. Then, you have a barbet dog with a medium to dark coat, in what appears to be amongst surroundings of a thick, lush area. This area seems to be a mixture of moss and herbaceous layers on the forest floor. The dog has its head turned, looking in the distance to the right. You get the feeling of being very far away, not just by looking at the cover but also while you're listening to the music.

“The Deep End” keeps its strong atmosphere throughout the entire 16 minutes. The riffs portray high levels of fluent wintry ambience, while also embracing the unvarying style of the drumming, with also the very special way that Rafn does his vocals. What I mean is, take for example at (00:32) he sings in his normal style of black metal, but then at (01:34) he breaks out his ever so melting voice! But what is special here, is when he blends the two styles of singing together at (04:40), this is the most beautiful sound of anything you could ever hear in anything musically. I mean, his voice is already melting enough, but when he does this, it just takes his vocal style to a completely different level. This is what epic is. To listen to him sing, especially on this particular EP, is unlike anything he's done prior. Absolutely pure, intense brilliance.

I also need to mention another part of this track. Starting at (09:35), I know this is supposed to be “atmospheric”, but I swear I honestly feel like I'm listening to a symphony, at this point. And for almost a minute, you get that feeling. At (11:24) the riffs bring forth a mildly cold feeling, that will last the duration of the song. And, of course, Rafn goes for that dual-effect of his black and melting vocals, albeit very briefly, one more time. Then, just more velvety melting vocals round out the rest of the song like a “chorus”, as there's some blending as well, with this. Then, it ends with the fading of just simple riff blending.

Why I mention that this is “a very special song” as states the review title, is that it was dedicated to me. I want to be honest in saying that at least until halfway through listening to this song, I did not know that it was, until Rafn had told me. This statement only has bearing for the title alone, and has nothing at all to do with what I wrote in my review.