There are myriad reactions to what’s plagued our lives the last two years, sorry for the really bad pun. We can’t shake it or avoid it no matter how hard we try because reality is what it is. You cannot defeat it. Those feelings and reactions go on to color our lives and how we interact, what we create, the energy we put out into the world. That’s something that can go any number of ways.
For Danish blackened doom quartet Konvent, their reaction was violence and frustration, emotions that make for ugly tension and chaos. That was poured into their powerful second record “Call Down the Sun,” a nine-track, 45-minute bruiser of an album that shows the band rising to a new, more scathing level. The isolation we have faced, the band not being able to play shows, which is their lifeblood, went into making these songs darker, more violent, more volatile. The band—vocalist Rikke Emilie List, guitarist Sara Helena Norregaard, bassist Heidi Withington Brink, drummer Julie Simonsen—lays waste to your body and mind, sounding more dangerous and frustrated, pouring all of their frustration into this destructive collection. It’ll fuck you up.
“Into the Distance” dawns in murk, and it isn’t long until you’re sustaining great bodily damage, List’s incomprehensible growls slithering toward you. The retching intensity eats into your intestinal tract as the playing trucks, ominous riffs churn, and the track burns away. “Sand Is King” revels in brutal growls and shrieks, and the band pummels you with doom hammers that very much make contact. You’re battered and trapped, the bruises increase, and the track curdles before dissolving. “In the Soot” is swollen from the start as the guitars lay waste, and the animalistic growls live as a thorn jammed into your side. The pace batters bones as the growls keep going for blood while the band leans into that attack and ends the thing in exhaust fumes. “Grains” is gritty and painful before the track opens, and the growls maul and devour flesh. Burly power keeps the fires blazing, the guitars glimmer, and List’s terrifying voice lands further blows that will force you to cower in fear.
“Fatamorgana” enters covered in soot, and it slowly burns as the playing gets more intense. The riffs leave welts but also hypnotize in spots, group howls feel tribal and ready for the kill, and the riffs spiral and threaten, moving into “Interlude” that has scorched guitars and mesmerizing paths carved. “Never Rest” trudges as the growls sludge, and the melodies bubble in blood that sizzles from the heat. The tempo moves dangerously, the growls surge, and the playing encircles you, capturing your as prey. “Pipe Dreams” enters with menacing riffs and hulking power, playing tricks with your mind. The power is numbing and crushing, shrieks tear into your flesh, and monstrous plodding carries the track to its violent end. “Harena” is the 7:13-long closer, entering with drums at full power, growls drilling into vulnerable flesh. The melodies feel sorrowful in spots, even as the music is vicious and bloody, and the emotional toll is paid repeatedly. The guitars wallow, the vocals tear at your throat, and the fires are aggravated one last time, the track ending in ominous tidings.
Konvent already showed enormous power and doom presence on their debut, but “Call Down the Sun” is on a different level as this band’s teeth get sharper and gnarlier. This record takes you to task, batters you from pillar to post, and refuses to end your suffering until the very end. This band is on the verge of something profoundly violent, and this record will be remembered as one of their bloodier building blocks.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/konventband
To buy the album, go here (North America): https://www.napalmrecordsamerica.com/
Or here (rest of the world): https://napalmrecords.com/
For more on the label, go here: https://label.napalmrecords.com/