Om hundrede år by Afsky

Release date: March 15, 2023
Label: Vendetta Records

Afsky have re-educated me. Traditionally, Scandinavian black metal is associated with the exponents of the main countries of Sweden and Norway. I had completely forgotten that Denmark is part of Scandinavia, and should anyone have said to me “there’s a great black metal band from Denmark you ought to check out”, I probably would have scoffed at the band not being genuine Scandinavian black metal. Far too often in the past, you see a blurb about a band that are meant to sound like <name band> from Norway or Sweden, and they quite simply don’t.

Well, times (and now, my attitude) have changed, and Afsky are proof that there’s more to Denmark than just Lego and pastries. They play classic black metal that harkens back to the mid to late 90s.

Remember what it was like when you first heard certain Enslaved or Burzum records? Some of those releases magically transported you across mirrored lakes to haunted shores, soaring into the skies and over vast dense forests. Creating those atmospheric soundscapes is where Afsky shine. The mix of beautiful acoustics, raw vocals, blistering guitars, and sublime melody all come together under one man’s vision, and form a very complete identity. This isn’t a rip off of the aforementioned acts; but I am taken back to those halcyon days. Particularly those bands that sung in their native language, without any translation available. It just felt like they were honouring their heritage, if that makes sense. Afsky follow this template, and I have no idea what the lyrics are about, but judging from their record covers, I’d wager melancholy plays a large part.

I’ve struggled to review this record, if I’m honest. I tell people why this is, and they tell me that my explanation is an unwitting review in itself. I really wanted to break this down track by track, but each time I play it, I start and finish it in one go, not knowing how it’s reached the end! It certainly isn’t boring, but because they do those atmospherics so well, I just get swept away with the flow of the record. Whether it’s the going a hundred miles an hour, dropping out for the quite reflective moments, or sitting at a mid tempo pace, I simply get drawn into those atmospherics soundscapes I described earlier, and I cannot get enough of it. The song structures are spot on, with just the right amount of ebb and flow, it’s played and produced well.

The only thing that annoys me, is how I’ve managed to let this band bypass me, and am already looking forward to digging into their back catalogue and the journey they take me on.

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