Dwaal Premiere “Like Rats” Video; Gospel of the Vile Due March 6

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 6th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

dwaal

Oslo-based six-piece post-doom outfit Dwaal will issue their debut full-length, Gospel of the Vile, on March 6 through Dark Essence Records, and it is a record that immediately repositions the listener to suit its own purposes. With a strong tonal wash, overlaid vocal and synthesizer melody, “Ascent” unfolds basically as an intro for the first six minutes of the album. The track is perhaps wrongly titled for not being called “Immersion,” but it’s hard to hold that against it, particularly when it’s intended as a bookend with 16-minute closer “Descent.” What it doesn’t do, however, is prepare the listener for some of the shifts presented in “Like Rats” and the four cuts that follow, mostly notably the massive nod that ensues and the undercurrent of classic emotive death-doom that permeates. Guttural growls and lyrical introspection take hold across the second track and with an ultra-slow progression, Dwaal find a niche between styles, thoughtful on multiple levels of its execution and nigh on lush at times in how it’s produced, but still with a feeling of raw humanity coming through in those vocals and the sheer lumber of the rhythm.

Tonal largesse and rhythmic lurch are essential throughout Gospel of the Vile, but as Dwaal — who appeared at Høstsabbat in 2018 (review here) and released their debut EP, Darben, in 2017 — roll out these massive, crawling grooves, the emotional crux in the guitar and vocals is no less crucial, and neither is the sense of atmosphere. With an especially memorable guitar figure that emerges just before two minutes into its total 13:50, the title-track brings these different sides together well in such a way as to build off what seemed to be separate in “Ascent” and “Like Rats” between the ambience on one side and the extremity on another. The band flourish over their longer-form presentation, with the growls returning to highlight severity in transition from more standard shouting, and after a contemplative stretch, “Gospel of the Vile” offers some of the most humongous plod on the record that shares its name, finishing with fading amp noise into the Amenra-style tension at the start of “Obsidian Heart Burns,” which builds up over the first two minutes or so into a gruesome unfurling, willfully harsh and biting even as it maintains a deceptive patience.

dwaal gospel of the vile

That patience pays off in the midsection of the song, which layers airy guitar overtop all the crushing tone and churn, and, as the title line is delivered, sets up a righteous explosion back into the max-weight impact. Brutal. The penultimate “The Whispering One” is the shortest inclusion besides “Ascent” at just under seven minutes, but uses that time to unleash a distinctively dramatic vision of doom, a wash that isn’t at all chaotic or fast but permeated by some high-pitched frequency in its second half — is that synth? effects noise? — that adds an almost subliminal feeling of alarm or panic. It starts at 4:33. Keep an ear out. I’m not even sure if it’s supposed to be there or if it’s some glitch in the stream I was given, but it’s curious either way. It does not stop “The Whispering One” from easing smoothly into the quiet opening of “Descent,” which again, at 16:26, is something of an album unto itself, or at very least a summary and expansion on what the rest of Gospel of the Vile has to offer. The floating guitar lines, the deathly growling, throaty shouts and emotional crux both quiet and extreme come through even before the piece is halfway through, and just before eight minutes in, cleaner vocals return in fitting answer to those at the record’s outset.

They’re swallowed up soon enough by the encompassing darkness, but even as the last five minutes of “Descent” play out in slow-stomp and a subtly-constructed payoff wash of noise, the message remains that Dwaal have yet perhaps to reveal the full breadth of their sound. Obviously conscious of the presentation of their craft, I’d expect purposeful growth their next time out — that is, they sound like a band who will want to move forward from release to release, and Gospel of the Vile would essentially be the starting point of that, the prior EP notwithstanding — but the impact and ambience they bring to this six-songer isn’t to be undervalued in its own right. Still, as they move forward and refine their sound and lyrical perspective, one hopes the heft and rawness can be maintained within their subsequent work, whatever form it might take, since they do so much to make this debut hit as hard as it does.

If you’re sensitive to flashing lights and general visual chaos, watch out for the “Like Rats” video below — you might want to avert your eyes or just listen to the song and look at something else — but otherwise, dig in and enjoy. Album is out March 6.

PR wire-type info follows:

Dwaal, “Like Rats” official video premiere

From the upcoming album “Gospel Of The Vile”, to be released on Dark Essence Records on March 6th 2020

Single and album covers both made by Anders Johnsen. Video by Eigil Dragvik. Band photos by Endre Lohne.

“Like Rats” is the second single from the upcoming album Gospel Of The Vile.

Gospel of the Vile is the first full length album from this six-headed monster from Oslo, Norway, following their self-released EP Darben (2017). The music is definitely rooted in Doom Metal, bearing also clear inspiration from Post-rock, traditional Metal and the ambience of Black Metal – Resulting in a massive sound, with moments of both brutality and beauty.

The concept of the album is depicting humanity’s embracing of its inner darkness and the decline into a more primal state, with songs like “Gospel of the Vile” and “Obsidian Heart Burns” at the center of the lyrical universe. Gospel of the Vile is an album that challenges you to endure its every movement.

Dwaal is:
Bjørnar Kristiansen – Vocals
Eigil Dragvik – Guitar & Backing vocals
Rikke Karlsen – Guitar
Stian Hammer – Bass
Siri Vestby – Synth
Anders Johnsen – Drums

Dwaal on Thee Facebooks

Dwaal on Instagram

Dwaal on Bandcamp

Dwaal website

Dark Essence Records on Thee Facebooks

Dark Essence Records on Instagram

Dark Essence Records on Bandcamp

Dark Essence Records website

Tags: , , , , ,