Two tracks of Dødsferd is not quite enough. Even though their accepted approach of longer format songs has been well cemented in their fanbase – consider that the last two releases, 2015’s Wastes of Life and 2018’s Diseased Remnants of a Dying World (reviewed by V13 here) both ran to only five tracks – their latest EP, Skotos, breaks somewhat and gives us an almost radio-friendly runtime of under ten minutes. And that really only arouses the appetite without putting it to bed after, which is possibly my only complaint regarding this release. Especially when you consider that their latest full-length, Suicide and the Rest of Your Kind will Follow Part II, is also only two songs – but with a 35-minute run time!
The well-established outfit that is Dødsferd may be the most orthodox of the Hellenic black metal scene or, if you prefer, the most ‘Scandinavian’ in their sonic signature, but their personal blend of misanthropy, nihilism and absolute bleakness is always such a pleasure you can easily overlook this similarity in style. No ‘folk’ elements or alternative instrumentation is needed when delivering the scathing commentaries on human existence that this disc offers. The virulence of the performance, from the punishing opening bars of “Skotari” is reminiscent of the raw fury of Judas Iscariot or Mütiilation, an impression further reinforced by the no-nonsense simplicity of the production.
A full stream of this superlative EP, thanks to Transcending Obscurity Records.
While the opener, “Skotari,” is a full-force battery, “Cursed to die at first light” is the main event. The treble-rich, high-end main theme is a haunting melody, echoed in the trance-like repetition of the rhythm section. An absolute monster of a song, balancing the two worlds present on the record to perfection. Available in multiple formats, this two-track offering is a paean to the forgotten gods of Depressive Suicidal Black Metal (DSBM), but delivered with impassioned violence that is somewhat out of character for the genre. It is also, without a doubt, the finest vocal performance yet from frontman Wrath. His anguish and rage are portrayed in equal parts, with a wide range from gutturals to screeches, and the overwhelming despair is an absolute balm: yet another example (of many) of how listening to tortured and angry music can be calming – even therapeutic.
Skotos Track Listing:
2. Cursed to die at first light
Run Time: 9:26
Release Date: May 14, 2021
Record Label: Transcending Obscurity