Danish Black Metal historians, Ildskær recently returned with their sophomore album, Blod og Jern (translates as Blood and Iron) in November 2023 via Vendetta Records. Previously, it was preceded by Paa Dækket Kalder De Døde EP which dealt with Gunboat War.
… it feels like Blod og Jern is what the Danes feel right after the devastating loss.
Blod og Jern is pretty much similar to their previous EP with their brand of lo-fi, melancholic Black Metal detailing on the Second Schleswig War between Denmark and Prussia with a devastating loss. Feel free to read more about the war here. I have to say I love Blod og Jern for staying close to what a Black Metal release should be: a grim and cold atmosphere with everything muffled in the mix with just enough melody to shine through. With a constant barrage of drumming with guitars churning melodic riffs (with pessimistic feels) and vocals yelling in Danish (sorry, I can’t make out what the vocals are saying, but presumably it has to do with Second Schleswig War), it feels like Blod og Jern is what the Danes feel right after the devastating loss.
The pain, sorrow, and humiliating defeat are just overwhelming, it feels heavy and this translates perfectly into the lo-fi mix.
At times, Blod og Jern feels primitive with its muddled mix, which might be a turn-off to some listeners. However, I feel it’s just perfect to bring out the feel, and rightly so on the subject of loss and trauma. The pain, sorrow, and humiliating defeat are just overwhelming, it feels heavy and this translates perfectly into the lo-fi mix. Had the album mixed into a more modern and cleaner sound, it would not have the same appeal. And I don’t think it is the case of trying to hide their incompetence in music because Ildskær does know how to execute the idea into music. Rather, this is probably an artistic choice. All in all, I enjoyed Blod og Jern and you should give it a try, especially if you’re into war history.
Blod og Jern is now available in CD, cassette, vinyl, and digital formats.
FFO: Satyricon, Ulver, Storm
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