by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy
Swedish atmospheric black metal act Ofdrykkja have been through their share of trials and tribulations relating to addiction and mental illness, with member Drabbad even being shot by the police and arrested in the past for drug offences, they recovered from this and created their second album ‘Irrfärd’ but they soon drifted apart to embark on their own journeys, luckily along the way they embraced a new and better outlook and found sobriety and regrouped to create their new and third album titled ‘Gryningsvisor’ which is Swedish for ‘Ballads At Dawn’ which marks their new direction and chapter as a band…
Opening song ‘Skymningsvisa’ starts with a sorrowful beautiful guitar intro, this is highly ambient and sets the scene wonderfully and eases you in for what lies ahead…
Latest single ‘The Swan’ starts in a resonant calm manner with a hint of foreboding, then the bleak growls come in closely followed by clean spoken vocals which is highly effective and almost chant-like, the contrast works brilliantly like a conversation. Unexpectedly towards the end we are graced with a guest third vocalist from Miranda Samuelsson who is featured throughout the album. This is beautifully executed and sees the song out on a high and memorable note.
‘Swallowed By The Night’ features hushed growled tones with delicate instruments woven with more delightful vocals from Miranda yet again, this is a very enchanting offering from the composition to the vocal delivery, making it a must-hear. ‘Ensam’ begins on another pleasant opening instrumental arrangement and this time sees Miranda offering more sombre vocals than previously, adding more variety.
‘Wither’ picks up the pace and changes the tone with fast drums and distorted melodic guitars and displays something different to what we have seen so far, adding lots of depth and diversity. This is a largely upbeat and highly enjoyable track that takes you on an interesting and irresistible journey.
‘In i natten’ opens on haunting beautiful vocals with a sense of sorrow and is a joy to listen to yet again. While ‘Herr mannelig’ is ethereal and mysterious offering up another stunning composition.
‘Våra Minnenas klagosång’ is perhaps one of the bleakest songs yet especially aided by effective pained vocals which are highly emotive whereas, ‘Grey’ is the longest and heaviest track, remaining dark and fierce throughout but still remains melodic.
Final song ‘Gryningsvisa’ in contrast is one of the shortest and most blissful creations, being very elegant, it decides to end on a pleasant instrumental which seems a nice fitting way to wrap things up and reflect on the endearing journey we have been on.
Gryningsvisor is captivating, intriguing and ambient throughout and the translation of the title ‘Ballads at dawn’ fits this perfectly with their black atmospheric metal tinged with beautiful folk elements. It is expertly crafted and because it is non-typical black metal it will surely appeal to masses and offers something very enjoyable and different within a genre that is usually very bleak whilst keeping its dark rooted vibes.
Gryningsvisor is released via AOP Records November 29th.