As we all know now though, we’ve come a long way and determining superiority based on geographic location is complete and utter nonsense. It’s a given fact that every single country on this wretched ball of dirt, hurtling through the immeasurable nothingness we call the galaxy, is equally worthless.
What isn’t worthless, far from it, is IFP’s latest release. Doedsvangr is a, you guessed it, collaboration of Norwegian and Finnish black metal musicians and it’s really rather good. Doedsvanger consists on the Norwegian site of Doedsadmiral (Nordjevel e.a.) on vocals and Anti-Christian (Tsjuder, Grimfist e.a.) on drums. Finland is represented by Shatraug (Horna, Behexen, Sargeist e.a.) on guitar and bass. Based on this line-up, you’d expect some decent, well-crafted albeit not very original black metal. And you’d expect correctly.
Satan Ov Suns is a well constructed album that oozes confidence which is to be expected from the band members’ curriculum. And while it may not be the most original black metal release I’d much rather listen to this than some stuff that’s groundbreaking for the sake of being groundbreaking. Most of the tracks on Satan Ov Suns are mid-tempo, with a bit of groove and some black ‘n roll influences. Think Tulus meets early Dodheimsgard. There’s the occasional shift up in speed which creates some welcome variety in the tracks. My favorite track is ‘Northern Watchtowers’ for the simple reason that it showcases all the variety that Doedsvangr has to offer, in one neat slab of grim ugliness, with a killer main riff.
Production-wise it falls into what I consider to be the ‘modern’ black metal sound. Instrument levels are nicely worked out and all the parts get plenty of room to breathe. There is however that hint of rawness that keeps it from sounding too over-produced. In a few tracks there are some issues with the drums that sound a bit too 'hissy', or 'shimmery' (for lack of a better word) but that’s me nitpicking now. Also, given the choice, I wouldn’t have the fade-out at the end of each ambient interlude between songs. And because they’re so cool and creepy, I wouldn’t have minded if they were a bit longer.
In conclusion: I know I start to sound like a broken record, but IFP has proven time and time again they know what they are doing. I’m not afraid to proclaim that by now they have reached that stage that labels like Osmose , Necropolis and Moonfog for example had reached in the 1990s. A name that is a sign of quality that you could blindly purchase any album that they put out. Doedsvangr is yet another proof of that.