Solbrud is back with their third album ‘Vemod’ (Danish for sadness). A work where the band’s unique black metal accompanied by pessimistic premonitions of the imminent fall of mankind forges a grandiose, poetic and deeply personal expression. On ‘Vemod’, Solbrud opens up an all encompassing dimension of sound and words, in which the listener encounters the tale of what we are, what we were and what the world one day will be without us.
From the birth of Solbrud (Danish for sun breach) in 2009, the aim has been to forge melodic and evocative compositions in a raw, storm-like expression; a sound generally achieved by coupling unrelenting drumming with chord and harmony based guitar riffs through an array of effects, creating an intense and atmospheric soundscape – or in fewer words: Black metal. The debut ‘Solbrud’ was released in 2012, and in 2014‘Jærtegn’ followed. Both albums and the quartet’s emotional and intense live performances have since then consolidated Solbrud as a band with a special, artistic vision unfolding in non-compromising and boundary pushing black metal.
Solbrud’s new album ‘Vemod’ draws from the longing, melodic approach, that signifies the debut album, along with the infernal drive and complexity of the sequel. On ‘Vemod’, Solbrud has cultivated their unique approach to songwriting even further and added new elements in both composition and instrumentation. The focus on melody is emphasized and the listener encounters a band which through working with complex arrangements simultaneously challenges and pays respect to the proud traditions of the genre. As the previous album ‘Jærtegn’, ‘Vemod’ is recorded with producer Lasse Ballade (Slægt, Orm, Halshug) in his Ballade Studios in Copenhagen, this time during a freezing January 2017. In addition, the legendary Flemming Rasmussen (Metallica, Morbid Angel, Rainbow) has overseen the mastering in Sweet Silence North, where the album received an old school tape mastering, which only enhances the band’s analogue and organic sound.
‘Vemod’ unfolds a pessimistic view on man, its nature and its role in this world. Due to its folly and greediness, mankind is on the verge of destroying itself, and the few who have realised this must necessarily turn their backs to the world, as it has become, and wander their own path – into the great wide open, into themselves, to return to their origins and once again become one with nature and its forces. The few see what lies ahead, they sense the fall and the eternal goodbye. From this ‘vemod’, a sadness emerges due to our destiny, due to the loss, due to the world soon to be dead to mankind. This is not a Fall in the Christian sense, but instead it is the ultimate fall: Man, who betrays himself and his origin, nature and the good that might after all exist within us. The rejection of the world, as it has become, emerges from love of nature that we are derived from, and which we are in the process of destroying. But first, we will destroy ourselves and when mankind has perished, nature and the universe will live on as had we never been here.
As the bond with nature is a primary force in the lyrics, so it is in the music of Solbrud. In similarity with nature, its facets are manifold displaying black metal’s broad potential of expression by being both grand, organic, melodic and dissonant, of vivid narration as well as direct and raw. Like an oak takes hundred years to become fully grown, Solbrud takes the time to unfold their tales and in the process, the band creates a transcendental musical condition capable of dissolving the experience of the now. As the few are driven to turn their backs on mass culture in order to gaze inwards, the listener also has to forsake the superficial and the obvious and instead devote herself to a now, that demands complete presence. And when doing so, one is equally rewarded tenfold. Landscapes arise, the horizon stretches and the mind expands, as one is submerged into the music and encompassed by the realisation, which is usually forgotten, chased away and betrayed in haste and mindless pursuit: A knowledge of the forthcoming destruction as well as an reminder bidding us to live in accordance with the forces in and around us….now, while we are still here.