Album Review – Jordfäst / Av Stoft (2022)

A ruthless Swedish Black Metal duo returns with their sophomore opus, telling sobering tales of human struggles against societal norms and religious oppression, and the fight for the right to determine one’s own fate.

An old Swedish word for being buried, loosely translated to ”attached to soil”, Jordfäst is also the name of a Skåne, Sweden-based Black Metal duo who unearth the grim past of the Scandinavian peninsula in their songs, channeling the long-forgotten cries of people that once lived. Now in 2022 it’s time for vocalist Olof Bengtsson and multi-instrumentalist Elis Edin Markskog, supported by session drummer Joakim Unger, to unleash upon humanity their sophomore opus entitled Av Stoft, the follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2021 debut full-length album Hädanfärd. Epic and dreaming, conjuring up soundscapes comparable to genre greats such as Ulver, Saiva, and Primordial, Av Stoft, which is Swedish for “of dust”, continues where Hädanefter left off, with folky melodies and theatrical narratives woven into a solid backbone of Black Metal. Recorded at Studio Wheelmust, mixed and mastered by William Blackmon at The Overlook, and featuring guest vocals by Joakim Svensson of Skogen, the album is comprised of two songs which have a combined playing time of 33 minutes, telling sobering tales of human struggles against societal norms and religious oppression, and the fight for the right to determine one’s own fate, with its gloomy layers interspersed with searing melodies reflecting a reality as unforgiving as the northern winter.

Eerie voices are suddenly joined by the massive beats by Joakim in Abortologen (“the abortologist”, from Swedish), bringing to our damned ears over 16 minutes of Scandinavian Black Metal infused with Folk and Doom Metal nuances where Olof roars manically in the name of pure evil, while Elis crafts a beyond caustic and visceral sound with his riffs, bass and keys, not to mention his guitar solos are a thing of beauty, enhancing the song’s epicness and electricity considerably. Put differently, it’s imposing and violent from start to finish, being therefore tailored for admirers of the genre while also ending in a serene way to the sound of a piano. The second song of the album, Kom Eld, Kom Regn (“come fire, come rain”), offers our ears pure Scandinavian Black Metal flowing from the very first second, with its vocalizations adding an extra touch of darkness to the overall result. Furthermore, the song brings forward a headbanging pace led by the strident riffage by Elis while Joakim hammers his drums in great fashion, and the music alternates between sheer aggressiveness and more melodic, Stygian moments. Not only that, Olof sounds absolutely bestial with his enraged roars, without a single second left empty throughout its 17 minutes of Scandinavian awesomeness that builds up to a sinister, epic and chilling ending.

“With Av Stoft we took a more timeless approach by implementing themes which have always been part of humanity’s history and shaped our society. Concepts pertaining to life and death; the right of the lone individual to either end or start one or the other as he sees fit, as well as the consequences that might follow. As on Hädanefter, the stories are told from several perspectives and depict everything from personal suffering to the relentless forces of nature – all of which are indifferent to our suffering and just biding their time to sweep us away, once and for all,” commented the duo about their newborn spawn, which will soon be available for purchase from the band’s own BandCamp page and from Nordvis Produktion, as well as for streaming on Spotify. Hence, don’t forget to start following Olof and Elis on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with all things Jordfäst, letting the obscure tales told by the duo in Av Stoft crawl dep inside your mind while they keep carrying the flag of Scandinavian Black Metal armed with their austere music for many decades to come.

Best moments of the album: Kom Eld, Kom Regn.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2022 Nordvis Produktion

Track listing
1. Abortologen 16:08
2. Kom Eld, Kom Regn 16:59

Band members
Olof Bengtsson – vocals
Elis Edin Markskog – guitar, bass, keyboards, backing vocals

Guest musicians
Joakim Unger – drums (session)
Joakim Svensson – additional vocals

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