Konvent – Puritan Masochism (Napalm Records, 24 January 2020)
Good afternoon, readers. How are things where you are? Here, we’ve had a few pleasant and sunny days in a row, which is certainly a rarity. But today is a typically dismal and dreary Tuesday. So fittingly, it’s time to listen to some dismal and dreary music.
Without any further ado, here is Puritan Masochism by Copenhagen’s Konvent.
The nine tracks that make up this record are filled with slow, minor-key doomy riffs, and the lead vocal part is an absolutely hellacious guttural roar, so — that’s right, you guessed it, we’ve got ourselves some good old fashioned death-doom!
The official press release that accompanied this album draws comparisons to “Mythic, Paradise Lost, Skepticism and Winter, who all unleashed the bleakest horror on mankind in the early 90s” — although I’d throw in an additional name here, as the blend of ferocity with murky atmosphere bring to mind another group who was active in the early 90s, and who happen to originate in my own hometown: Derkéta.
While only one band member is credited with performing vocals, occasionally a second part joins in, one that’s much more raspy, wispy, and blackened — and you may notice that “Waste” takes on even more of a blackened metal influence, with the addition of guest vocalist (and fellow Copenhagener) Tue Krebs Roikjer from Morild interspersed between the two regularly-appearing parts.
The drums here quite often take the form of a half-time march, such as in the opening/title track, really attacking on the one and three — which has me envisioning a parade of slowly shuffling ghastly creatures trudging forth. Sometimes the band will play with the tempo a bit, an in “Bridge” which really ramps up around the middle of the song (only to drop off again soon after), and elsewhere where they keep churning through riffs that drag on slower and slower as time goes by.
Speaking of riffs — the main one in “Trust” comes across kind of like a depressed version of the one from “Crazy Train,” while “Ropes Pt. I” sometimes uses a galloping rhythm like the ones made famous by Iron Maiden, although much, much slower. All throughout the LP, you’ll come across bits like this that feel familiar, resembling various classic styles of heavy metal, just bastardized through the death-doom filter.
With that in mind, it’s a bit shocking to discover that this Danish crew formed a mere five years ago and Puritan Masochism is their first official release — and even more surprising when you dig into their Encyclopaedia Metallum page to learn that none of the four members have any previous credited appearances with any other bands. Solely based on hearing the music, one might have expected to find they were all seasoned veterans who had been brutalizing listeners’ ears for decades.
Puritan Masochism is available in digital/CD/vinyl formats, check it out right here.
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