Location: Aalborg, Nordjylland
Genre: Black Metal
Themes: Danish History, Sorrow
Label: Vendetta Records
A new Ildskær so that means it’s time for some history lessons. The band released their second full album on Vendetta Records. I liked the first album, it was the complete package withartwork that really drew my attention, so what does the band bring the second time around?
Before we answer that question, first a bit of history realting to the concept of the album.
In 1864, Denmark experienced a significant turning point after the death of King Frederik VII and the rise of King Christian IX. The country, caught up in a wave of nationalism, faced a crucial decision as the cabinet led by D.G. Monrad presented Christian IX with a constitution that would strain relations with Prussia over the disputed duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. Despite his German heritage, Christian IX felt compelled to sign the document.
Prussia, led by Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, eagerly awaited an opportunity to engage in conflict. In early 1864, war was declared, marking the beginning of a transformative period for both nations. Denmark’s army positioned themselves on the famous Dannevirke defenses as the Prussians and their Austrian allies crossed the river Ejder. The battles that followed at Dybbøl and Als resulted in significant loss of life and shared mass graves.
The war lasted for nine months, ultimately leaving Denmark humiliated and devastated, while Prussia emerged as the dominant power in Europe. The conflict showcased the high stakes and profound consequences driven by national ambitions and ideals.
As you can see, Danish history is an important part of their music. That was the case with their first full album “Den Rædsomste Nat” and with the second full album that hasn’t changed. History class is dismissed, it’s time to talk about the album.
Blod og Jern (Blood & Iron)
The new album is 46 minutes long spread over 5 tracks, with the longest track being the fifth one. That track has a run time of 11 minutes and 30 seconds, so it’s quite long. But what can you expect when you pop this new album in your CD player, or for the new younger audience when you start streaming it?
Atmosphere, would describe it in one word. The album has loads of it, and that starts off with the great painting used as the artwork for the album. It’s depicts The Battle of Als, and it gives you an idea/image of the mayhem that surrounds a war.
The sound effects also contribute a lot to the atmosphere, at the start of the 4th track “Gjennem Ild og Røg” you can hear the trumpets and the sounds of war, and that really gives it an extra dimension. You can find those effects throughout the album.
I could go on and on about the atmosphere of this album, but it’s something you’ll have to hear for yourself, I do recommend headphones though that gave me the best experience.
To get a feeling of what this album is about, the 3rd track on the album, “Jylland i Brand” gives the best overview. The vocals are great and right up my alley, the instruments all sound good, the only problem I have with the album, well, not with the album but with the sound, is that it sounds a tad muffled lacking a better word. I get that an album about war has a particular sound to it, but it sounds a bit off to my ears. On headphones, though, it sounds better. That muffled sound isn’t present on the first album, so it’s probably an artistic choice, which, of course, is fine!
So, overall, what are my thoughts on the new album Blod & Jern? It’s a good album and if you love atmospheric black metal that’s based on history, you should check them out. You can buy the album on Bandcamp or stream it from your favorite streaming platform.
I rate this album a 7,5 out of 10
Have you listened to this album? What did you like about it? Or what didn’t you like? Please let us know on our social media channels, or join us on discord, where we discuss all things black metal! Make sure to follow our Facebook page, Black Metal Zine, to receive notifications when we publish articles. Also check out our Instagram at @blackmetal.zine for concert pictures and more!