Ofdrykkja – Gryningsvisor

I wish I had some kind of time machine so I could go back in time to the far year of 1985 and meet the young version of myself who was starting to listen to Metal and Extreme Metal music was being introduced to the world. I would intentionally travel with this “Gryningsvisor” in my player to show it to to the younger version of myself. Why is that? Because back then Extreme Metal – there wasn’t the term. We used to refer as Black Metal to all the bands that were rising up -, was for us a synonim of a raw, straight-ahead, poorly played, noisy kind of Metal. Any NWOBHM fan would look to the rising bands with lots of disdain and scorn because they didn’t fit in the Metal standards raised until then. It was against all the rules of a kind of music that was assuring itself as a form of art.  Poor judgement or just a blurred view? Well, time proved that Metal has evolved a lot in those 35 years and the subject of our today’s review Ofdrykkja with “Gryningsvisor” is a honorable liveng proof of it. Ok, then, so let’s go for it, shall we?

Except for some incidental voices and some vocals in some songs and if considered only the instrumental, “Gryningsvisor” could be labeled as Black Metal. From where I’m standing not even Extreme Metal would be possible due to the delicate and sweet textures sewed by Ofdrykkja. On second though and after one more listen, I remembered what I always say about Metal and its contradictions. Metal is made of contradictions! Metal is full of opposites and this is what – it’s my belief – makes Metal a genre so loved and hated. For instance, the vocal duet in “Swallowed by the Night” shows an angelical voice with all the tah-dih-dahs opposed by a devilish and demonic voice that now and then intervenes. Would anybody compare  it to our lives? Miranda Samuelsson’s vocals give them a light that no one could expect from the kind of music Ofdrykkja intend to make. So, instrumentals are subtle and working as a background to vocals. I’m sure no one in the 1980s would even imagine a Black Metal playing those kind of things. By the way, the term Atmospheric Black Metal would be a motive for mockery back them because of those oppositions and contradictions. If taken seriously, I’d say that they endanger the subgenre due to the use of so strong opposition.

Besides all the talk, “Gryningsvisor” is a wonderful album. Moreover, it is so because of them. Ofdrykkja built layers and layers of such a delicate material that causes so much emotion that the album would be worth only because of them.

Ofdrykkja “Gryningsvisor” will be released on November 29th via AOP Records.

Track Listing:

  1. Skymningsvisa
  2. The Swan
  3. Swallowed by the Night
  4. Ensam
  5. Wither
  6. In i natten
  7. As the Northern Wind Cries
  8. Herr Mannelig
  9. Våra minnens klagosång
  10. Köldvisa
  11. Grey
  12. Gryningsvisa

Watch “Wither” official music video here: