Den Rædsomste Nat
Review by Felix on March 14, 2023.
Ildskaer hail from Denmark and do not even try to hide this fact on their debut. “Den rædsomste nat” is a concept album which deals with the British bombardment of Copenhagen in the year 1807. The Royal Navy did not like the peaceful position of the Danish government that did not want to support the Empire against Napoleon. Of course, it was not allowed to refuse the beautiful, pure and good intentions of those who “rule the waves”. They know what's good for you! 3.000 Danish people, most of them civilians, died.
The fantastic artwork shows a fiery scenario of this British adventure excursion (the burning Frue Kirke), the lyrics are, of course, not in English and the same goes for the sixteen-page book which is added to the vinyl version. And the music, to put the focus on the most important content of “Den rædsomste nat” (the most dreadful night), also does not have its main influence from English speaking musicians. Comparable to their compatriots of Í Myrkri, Ildskaer’s approach is not too far away from the one that catapulted the French speaking scene from Quebec on the global metal map. This means we get very homogeneous songs with a smooth, natural and seeming endless flow. No surprising or even inadequate twists and turns occur, each and every part goes hand in hand with the ones before and after it. Additionally, all songs follow a very similar approach and so the seven tracks form a kind of closed society.
Unfortunately, the relatively dull production robs the songs of a few percent of their natural power. The mix lacks ups and downs, but one gets used to it. From this follows that the sound does not hurt the overall impression significantly. It feels good to listen to the fast-paced, opulently designed tracks with an average length of more than six minutes. Especially “I korpsets rækker” bundles the strengths of the Danish duo. It mixes rapid sections with some instrumental parts that feature a desperate, melodic tone sequence. Yes, the album does not suffer from a lack of melodies, but it also does not fall victim to an overdose of “nice” harmonies. At least the raw, throaty voice of the lead vocalist leaves no doubt that we are listening to a black metal album – and it’s a pretty great one.
Ildskaer did not forget to integrate some verses of Danish poets in their lyrics. Not only that, those of the very strong “Matrosen” seem to be done completely by one of them in 1832. This way of proceeding and the original topic of the lyrics show both the patriotic and holistic approach of Ildskaer. Thank God that all these details are not at the expense of the music. Okay, the guitars do not create absolutely outstanding riffs or lines, but they lend the songs enough power, vitality and aroma to enjoy them. Therefore I can recommend this album (which is immune to a creeping loss of quality throughout the 45 minutes) to every fan of evenly flowing yet not monotonous black metal.
Rating: 7.8 out of 10444