Vemod – The Deepening

Well, it took a very, very long time to get Vemod’s second full length unleashed. Twelve bloody years in fact. I was under the impression that “The Deepening” never would have seen the light of day but here we are.

And although Vemod still has traces of their past musically they have changed yet still are undeniably Vemod. Maybe it sounds confusing but please let me elaborate in the review below.

Predecessor Venter på stormene was a sublime and majestic piece of art. With sporadic live performances Vemod managed to enthrall me with its genius and clever songs. The live performances were a pleasure to witness….drifting away in distant yet far away soundscapes only this band can create.

A lot of people regard Vemod as a Black Metal band. I agree that they use elements of Black Metal, but Vemod is much more than this genre. It surpasses it with adding different elements and a different mood while still staying in touch with the dark side of metal genres (while feeling more uplifting and warm than for example Black Metal).

With “The Deepening” this is also the case, and, on this album, they again manage to create a hypnotic, dreamy, mystic, maybe even cinematic, journey with a shoegaze-like touch. While its predecessor was raw and undistilled it seems that this band has taken its time to ripen, to grow, resulting in a sound which is unique yet doesn’t forget its roots.

The album starts with “Mot osintoen old”, a minute counting intro which properly sets the mood and gradually draws you in the world of “The Deepening”. It fits seamlessly with the following track “Der guder dor”. With a duration of thirteen minutes, this song starts with a Black Metal riff and great melodic guitar but slowly shifts into more mystic realms were a beautiful, almost serene, guitar solo and chant  manage to mesmerize me. The harsh vocals of Eskil Blix (drums )and etheric vocals of guitarist J.E. Åsli make a beautiful contrast.

The same goes for the third track “True North Beckons”. It feels like a Black Metal song in the beginning but gradually develops.  It keeps you on the edge of your seat for almost ten minutes. It feels just like nature when a lightning storm passes over: it’s hauntingly beautiful yet powerful and intense at the same time.

Fra drømmenes bok I” is a beautiful sung intermezzo and offers a well put change of pace before “Inn i lysende natt“ starts.  With its seven minutes, this song can be seen as (relatively) short for a Vemod song. With its pulsating beat and a-typical Americana guitar sound it feels like a warm blanket.

Closing and title track “The Deepening”, is simply superb and majestic to listen to. It combines all the elements which I admire so much in Vemod. The combination of clean and harsh vocals, the lengthy and beautiful synths, the great calm yet intense atmosphere, it’s all there! An epic and very emotional song which leaves you with a surge of emotions, hungry for more.

The year has just begun but it looks like we have a contender for 2024’s year list.
With great production, great craftmanship (just listen to the cool bass tunes of E. Kalstad) I find myself listening to this album over and over. And I think that says enough. It took way, way too long for Vemod to return but finally they are back! And in excellent form. I can write a lot of additional words in this review. Maybe this album deserves it. But I really would recommend is that you go listen to this album. And if you have the chance: go see these Norwegian lads live. In both cases: you surely won’t be disappointed.



Score: 8,7 / 10

Release date: 19 January 2024

Label: Prophecy Productions

Reviewed by: Erik


Track list:
1. Mot oss, en ild
2. Der guder dør
3. True north beckons
4. Fra drømmenes bok I
5. Inn i lysende natt
6. The Deepening



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