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Review: Kampfar – Ofidians Manifest (by Dagon M.)

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Review by Dagon M.

Record Label: Indie Recordings

Year: 2019

Rating: 9/10


From my early days listening to music the Norwegian Black Metal scene was something I instantly felt a strong connection with and especially Kampfar. Their consistency in making very good albums, and their great live performances, made them one of my favorite bands and so I was really devastated with their decision to dissolve back in 2017.

Of course I was very excited some months ago, when I heard that they were planning to release a new album and thankfully the result didn’t disappoint. The band with this album chose to move to a different direction than their last two albums,that were a journey back to their roots, and push their sound boundaries forward.

One of their darker albums, with a mysterious atmosphere looming all over it, Ofidians Manifest feels like a natural expansion in the creativity of the band and not like something forced. Subtle piano, increased and improved clean singing by Dolk and some groove points all blend very well to create a stunning result.

 

kampfar

kampfar

 

“Syndefall”, the riff-filled album opener, welcomes the listener for once more into the familiar world of Kampfar with very well balanced high-lows. However what follows is different than what we are used to by this band, with “Ophidian” and “Natt” being some of the darkest and seething songs they have ever written, with dark riffs and deep bass working very well with the vocals.

“Skamløs!” adds a wave of energy to the album, highlighting the everlasting hunger that the band has. The guest appearances by Agnete Kjølsrud on “Dominans” and Marianne Maria Moen on “Det Sorte” seem like a natural and necessary part of the album, putting another layer to the songs, with the addition of piano and violin, giving also an emotional dimension and creating a majestic closure to the album.

The album is not entirely perfect, with “Eremitt” being an attempt to corporate some of the folk elements from the bands earlier years, but not with great success and lacking intensity. Of course Kampfar made obvious, with this album, that they are back stronger than ever and that Black Metal never dies, but reinvents itself and moves forward, crushing any false music barriers and labels throughout the years.


Kampfar – Ofidians Manifest (Full Album)

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