Keeping with the festive spirit (if you’re the kind of person who wears a “Bah Humbug” hat, at least) is the recent release from The Deathtrip. This is another project from frontman Bjørn “Aldrahn” Dencker who you may know from Zyklon B and Dœdheimsgard.
Deep Drone Master, released in November, is a simple album at heart. Slow, heavy and black as the ice that causes a family on their way to see Santa to skid off the road to their deaths. Bleaker than the medical outlook of a Chernobyl inhabitant, each song thumps home the futility of your meaningless existence.
Although Aldrahan is the main vocalist, the project was actually begun back in 2003 by guitarist Host. Aldrahan joined around 2008, and the line-up was completed more recently with Jon Wesseltoft on bass and Dan Mullins on drums (replacing a drum machine which had been used initially).
Deep Drone Master took shape over many years and was finally mixed by Snorre Ruch of Thorns for release this year.
It really strips black metal back to its basics. Simple riffs overlay simple drum-beats, the bass keeps time and the vocals are guttural, yet clear enough to make out. The slight echo throughout really gives the impression that this could have been recorded in the ruins of a burned-out church.
It’s 43 minutes of unrelenting blackness and misery – which is all anyone can ask of a quality black metal album.
Stand out tracks are “Dynamic Underworld” and “Making Me”, though it’s a hard choice to make. Dramatic and scathing, this is an album well worth seeking out if the incessant run of office parties and grinning TV presenters in stupid sweaters are driving you to distraction at the moment.