Doodswens – Lichtvrees: Album Review

Doodswens release their debut album Lichtvrees, and infuse black metal with a range of influences and new creative directions.

Release date: 3rd December 2021

Label: Svart Records

Format: CD / Digital / LP (released 14 January 2022)

Doodswens are a two-piece black metal band from Eindhoven, in the Netherlands, formed in 2017 by Fraukje van Burg (vocals and guitar) and Inge van der Zon (drums). Lichtvrees (the translation is fear of light) is the band’s debut album.

In Mijn Bloed opens the album, with the sound of humming amplifiers, that then erupts into a storm of frenetic distorted guitar and pounding drums, with Fraukje van Burg’s deathly screamed vocal disturbingly seeping through the dense layers of sound. This is classic black metal, infused with something of the Velvet Underground at their most experimental, particularly in the way the distorted levels of sound are built up, and the impressive drumming style of Inge van der Zon, reminiscent of the great Moe Tucker.

This is followed by Onplaatsbaren, a spoken voice excerpt, which from a little research, led to wondering if this might possibly be an audio excerpt from the Netherlands 2012 documentary film De Onplaatsbaren, about a service working with people who have come through addiction. Though it could of course be something else completely.

Zwarte Staar evidences the band showing another side to their musical palette. Executing some elegiac shoegaze, imbued with flowing melodies, in conjunction with atmospheric black metal and a tenacious doom metal rhythm, which then concludes with blast beats in the final sequence. It’s a hypnotic listen and a track you will keep getting drawn back towards.

Eindzicht must be though the centerpiece achievement of this album. Clocking in at nearly nine minutes, it’s a musical suite with different movements. Creative use of guitar feedback and guitar repeat creates an initial nightmarish soundscape, which then segues into a solemn requiem, where the guitar and drums reverberate and fill every audio space. The vocal is despairing and serves to build the melancholic feel of the music. The final coda brings in post-metal-like glistening guitar figures that takes the music in yet another direction. It’s a compelling listen. 

Lichtvrees, the title track is similarly distinctive, with a monstrous anthemic lead riff, that mid-song totally collapses into another full-on blast beat led charge. Doodswens are very fine musicians able to dynamically switch the mode and trajectory of their music with precision timing, which makes their take on black metal a constantly surprising and rewarding musical journey. A very good album indeed. 

You can watch the official music video for In Mijn Bloed here:

Doodswens: Bandcamp / Facebook

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