Historically, Dødsferd have stood out among their Hellenic peers – Varathron, Rotting Christ and Necromantia to name a few – in their departure from the thrashy-riffing-meets-Hellenic-melodies process. Yes, the massive scale, traditional instrumentation and epic (an overused term, but still apt) atmosphere these others employ have still made their presence known, but Dødsferd have always bordered on the progressive in their experimental, boundary-pushing take on black metal, like a Grecian version of Darkthrone, if you will. Consider the punk-infused The Parasitic Survival of the Human Race (2013), the orthodox first-wave vitriol of Spitting With the Insignificance of Life (2011) or the DSBM-inspired Suicide and the Rest of Your Kind Will Follow (2009), all of which were built on nearly a decade of solid black ‘n roll foundations.
Diseased Remnants of a Dying World is no exception, except that individual cuts now receive individual treatments, rather than applied to the album as a whole. Some things haven’t changed, such as the track length, with the shortest item clocking in at over six minutes, but the approach definitely has. As such, approaching the album as five distinct moods, not one cohesive one, has made the most sense, even if it is something of a paradigm shift for many accustomed to bands following a familiar formula across an album.
Be “Loyal To The Black Oath” with the band’s just-released latest track off of the new record.
Moments worth mentioning include the incongruous clean, Alcest-esque vocal on “My Father, My Wrath,” following as it does on a reverb-rich, high-gain lead line just begging for some blast beating. In contrast, “An Existence Without Purpose” delivers more traditional tremolo-picked melodies, growled barks and a relentless rhythm section. The title track then marries the two styles, before anguished Lifelover wails and repetitive, trance-like riffs dominate “Loyal to the Black Oath.”
The closing cut’s atmospheric introduction (minus Wrath’s screams) brings “Back to my Homeland… My Last Breath” back to the stable of the previously mentioned Hellenic approach; coupled with a haunting low-end, bass-heavy atmosphere and menacing spoken vocals, this is the least “metal” track on the album. But by far this track is the most memorable, and the most adventurous, too. Its atmosphere is authentic in its menace, and the violin section perfectly matches this intent. If all of Diseased Remnants of a Dying World had carried this much-veiled violence, this album would have been a masterpiece: as it is, it is hard to escape the feeling that the record is more a collection of B-side leftovers than a completely new album. It is, nevertheless, still an excellent showcase of a long-running band that refuses to rest on their laurels and instead keeps producing quality content.
Are we all living “An Existence Without Purpose”? Find out below…
At first, the sheer variety of sounds and compositional devices employed by Greece’s Dødsferd seemed an insurmountable obstacle, but a minor shift in attitude yielded a far easier path. The shifting moods and sounds on Diseased Remnants of a Dying World initially came across as disjointed and inapproachable but merely examining each of the five compositions on the album as an entity in its own right ended up making far more sense.
Diseased Remnants of a Dying World Track Listing:
01. My Father, My Wrath!
02. An Existence Without Purpose
03. Diseased Remnants of a Dying World
04. Loyal to the Black Oath
05. Back to my Homeland… My Last Breath
Run Time: 51:44
Record Label: Transcending Obscurity
Release Date: December 14, 2018