DWAAL – Gospel of the Vile
- by J.N.
- Posted on 07-02-2020
A suffocating sense of impenetrable darkness envelops the listener the very minute those huge, crushing chords and mournful soundscapes emanate from the speakers, and from that point on there is no turning back. The Oslo-based Dwaal revel in various different genres and styles of expression such as doom metal, sludge, post-black metal, and claustrophobic ambient music, and their long, dense compositions are steeped in a melancholy atmosphere and an oppressive aura of decay. They are effective, and powerful too, and I find it impossible not to be swept away by its overwhelmingly bleak mood, the beautiful melodies that present themselves at just the right points in time, and that trance-inducing vibe and feel of the tunes. The whole affair has a majestic flow to it and it is hard to pinpoint exactly where it peaks, but one could make the argument that the highlights and standout cuts are the opening and closing tracks, namely “Ascent” and “Descent”, and the monstrous title song. “Obsidian Heart Burns” contains a few plodding passages, but other than that the LP is way up there in terms of quality.
The pulsating, lively, and somewhat unpolished production fits like a glove and this gem of a record is an incredibly accomplished and confident piece of work that is as thrilling as it is depressing. Just promise me that you will get your filthy paws on this wicked slab of heartfelt and moving sludge one way or the other. This is slow, hypnotic, and intense music capable of ruining both your craphole house and that annoyingly optimistic mood of yours.