What better way to start a year than with some finely crafted black metal? I don't see why not so let's head off in that direction.
Vemod is a Norwegian band I discovered quite a while ago when I went to see Mgla in concert during their With Hearts Towards None tour. Accompanying bands were Svartidaudi and One Tail One Head. The biggest disappointment of the evening was One Tail One Head which seemed like this really dumb gimmicky 2nd wave worship at the time but I went home I decided to give them a second chance and see how they sound on CD. Wasn't very happy with what I heard but my habit of digging through associated acts while I listen to albums paid off as I stumbled upon Vemod. The artwork captivated me so I gave it a try and I was rewarded with a very fine listening experience.
Vemod's style is deeply rooted in the old school style of black metal, there's not much here in terms of experimental riffs or out of the box thinking compositions. What Vemod excels in is what all good black metal albums should excel in and that is atmosphere. It is melancholic without being edgy, it is somber without being cheesy. It feels very honest and natural in all of the four tracks that this album offers. Complementing the melancholic black metal are ambient passages that feel at home in between and during the metal parts. The third track on this album is entirely ambient and probably my highlight of the whole journey. I also feel like they managed to tastefully implement some post-rock influence as well as there are some less distorted passages every now and then (most notably on the second track).
Vemod have finally announced a new album for this year and I have my fingers crossed that it will be at least as good as this one if not even better. Until then there is no time like now to get into their first album.