Panphage is a one man act (all too common in black metal) by Fjällbrandt from Sweden. You can feel the chill of the ocean throughout Drengskapr. The production is what I’d call lo-fi without pretensions. Some raw black metal goes for the “we’re too cool to give a fuck,” sound; and that may work for them. Drengskapr’s soundscape is narrow and cold, like the oceanic wind through a frozen pine forest. The cover art is a great representation of the sound. Cold, dim, rugged, and still poetic.
In the dumbest terms: the drums are small and chaotic, the guitars are a wall of upper mids and treble, and the vocals are somewhat typical- harsh yet dynamic enough. I particularly like the chorus of shouts that occasionally backs up the main vocals.
What makes this special for me are the melodies. Inside the wall of sound, the guitar . The black metal seems melodious yet unrelenting until we hit the atmospheric intermission which is the fourth track, Glamsyn. It’s eerie and peaceful. Haunting and darkly beautiful. I’d love an album of this to use as a background soundscape for a D&D session.
There are some riffs which one could find repetitive, but that depends upon your mood. If you are merely listening to Drengskapr while reading, browsing the web, etc. it might feel a little repetitive at times, However, I found that when I stopped doing everything to just listen the repetitious elements felt more like a build-up than boring droning. I’m really hard to please when it comes to repetition. So, repetition that is still a journey is somewhat difficult to accomplish. Fjällbrandt is able to build and crescendo until he adds the layered vocals to resolve. If you are a fan of folk black metal it is worth a listen. It’s also great for fans of Hate Forest, Forest of Fog, Drudkh, and Helheim. Check them out on bandcamp and let me know what you think.