Review by Vladimir on December 25, 2023.
Out of many newer black metal outfits that I have discovered throughout the years, one of the most attractive ones that I came across is Vemod from Norway. Their debut album Venter På Stormene proved to be quite the interesting discovery that I did not even think would be so great as to mesmerize me throughout my entire listening, which rightfully earned to be dubbed as "dark ethereal metal" as the style of music that they play. However, this album came out all the way back in 2012, and the band had not released any new material for the next 12 years, until the news of their second album came about. The second full-length album The Deepening is due to be released on January 19th, 2024 via Prophecy Productions, and from what I’ve seen it has been surrounded by an overwhelming amount of fan hype. Let’s dive into The Deepening and discover what lies beyond…
On first glance, it seems that Vemod continued where they left off with their predecessor, once again creating atmosphere through cold, mesmerizing and misty black metal with a pinch of melancholy and transcendence that surrounds it. Their songs also include clean vocals, synthesizers and choirs that expand the band’s sound and also create a very strong flow of ideas, whereas the third track 'True North Beckons' is perhaps where the synthesizers are strongly accented than any other track on this album. Perhaps the only song that is a big departure from the rest is fifth track 'Inn I Lysende Natt' that is much more progressive/psychedelic rock styled in its musical execution, which still succeeds at creating an atmosphere that doesn’t break away from what was previously established. The true magic of the songs lies within their atmosphere, which succeeds at getting your imagination going as if you’re strolling through a heavy fog while wandering the lonesome mountains covered in snow, while you are completely possessed by the sound of Vemod. Atmosphere definitely plays a big role in Vemod’s music which was evident on their previous album, and I would go as far as to say that this is without a doubt the biggest highlight on The Deepening. The album has a lot of dynamic songwriting, with rhythmic variations that go very smoothly from one section to another. Interestingly enough, the album feels so simple yet still very complex in its overall song progression, which one might dare call it as “Pink Floyd goes black metal” due to its overall nature, as well as the general expression in every song. Even if you observe the album cover, you would begin to believe that this was strongly influenced by very avant-garde or progressive music. The overall lengthiness of the tracks does not really feel like it’s dragging for far too long or that it is extremely monotone to the point where you might as well fall asleep, but instead the overall lengthiness helps the songs convey such deep and powerful emotions, which is very hard to pull off thing for many black metal artists. The production of The Deepening is quite good and it sounds very organic and natural, with a slight rawness to the sound that gives a strong edge to the musical output of Vemod.
I must say that The Deepening was quite the pleasant listening experience which I would highly recommend if you’re a longtime fan of Vemod. I would say that the 12-year waiting was well paid off in the end with The Deepening, and I hope that others will feel the same way about it as I did. This album already gives a good and promising start with metal releases for 2024, and I am sure that there will be so much more to explore and discover next year.
Rating: 8.4 out of 10587